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Parkland High School Confidential: A way for Mr. Russell to share about the culture of Parkland.

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Parkland High School Confidential: A way for Mr. Russell to share about the culture of Parkland.
by Kal Russell - Thursday, 4 November 2021, 7:58 AM

Parkland High School Confidential: Purple Panther!

At Parkland, our leadership class is trying hard to bring back some fun to school after a couple of necessary but hard years of lots of Health and Safety measures. We are still being safe at school by wearing masks and postponing traditional events like the Winter Social because, as Willard tells Ren in Footloose, “You won’t get any dancing here; it’s illegal.” At least we can attend classes full time, play sports and eat lunch with our friends. In fact, we can even dress up for Halloween. So we decided to have some fun.

To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised by how many staff and students dressed up. I know it’s not for everyone, but those that embrace it do it with lustre and style. Beetlejuice, Mr. Earshaw, followed me around all day, asking me to “say my name three times” over and over again. I should have dressed up as Micheal Keaton’s best character, Mr. Mom, because I had to keep sending Beetlejuice back to his office to do his work.  

Many of our students have some amazing costumes. The makeup on Hannah’s face was incredible, and she easily won the most creative costume by dressing as Chucky. All in all, it was good fun. Halloween allows us to use our imagination and create our own magical world for a day.

A couple of our students who had been at Sidney Elementary School when I was Principal there asked me to bring back the Purple Crayon costume for Halloween. Ten years ago, I dressed as a Purple Crayon and visited Kindergarten classes to read the Harold and the Purple Crayon book. Harold and the Purple Crayon is about a young boy that possesses a magical purple crayon, and whatever he draws with the purple crayon comes to life.

I put on the Purple Crayon suit during the Costume Contest in the theatre at lunch. Several kids said, “Hey Mr. Russell, I remember when you wore that when we were in Kindergarten.”

Another student approached me with a phone. I asked, “Do you want a picture with the Purple Crayon?”  

He replied, “Sure,” and then we posed for the camera, but as I was about to walk away, he said, “But I wasn’t coming up to you to ask for a picture. I was trying to show you a picture.”  

“Let me take a look,” I answered as he showed me a picture of me on his phone reading to their Kindergarten class 10 years ago dressed in my Purple Crayon costume. 

I smiled. “Thanks for sharing that with me.”  

Dang! He still had a picture of me dressed as a Purple Crayon on his phone. A pretty awesome moment for a man feeling a little silly and self-conscious in a Purple Crayon outfit.  

At Parkland, you can dress up on Halloween and enjoy a day of fantasy and letting your mind run wild. In the Harold and the Purple Crayon book, young children realize that the things in the book are not possible, but like Halloween, it sure is fun to use your imagination and think outside the realm of possibility for a few minutes.  

Parkland students are encouraged to use their imagination and creativity to demonstrate their learning. This will help them be more successful in all areas of school life.  

Just say the word Panthers, and I will bring back the Purple Crayon costume and book anytime you feel you need to be inspired to be more creative in your thinking. Even in high school.

Proud to be a Purple Crayon Panther!