Granby Dinosaur Statue Causes a Stir
The problem stems from a dinosaur statue outside the junior-senior high school… but that’s about the only thing either side can agree on.
“It was a way of getting art into the town. Just like all the other towns. Easthampton has their bears. Sneakers in Springfield. Chicopee’s got the C-5’s and Granby is known for its dinosaurs,” said Granby artist Wayne Gagnon.
So back in June this multi-colored dinosaur called Feathers, one of several around town was put up in front of the Granby Junior-Senior High School.
That same month, someone sawed off the head.
It was quickly replaced, but then the real trouble began.
“There are a certain segments of people who automatically associate rainbows with the gay lesbian movement,” said Gagnon.
And that’s where the controversy comes in…
Does this dinosaur promote a political agenda – in this case – gay pride?
At first it was more whispers and innuendos, until one woman, Laurie DePino sent an email that was posted to Facebook.
In it – she questions the very procedures the school committee took to approve the statue.
There’s no policy dictating what the parameters are for being a display on our school property,” maintains DePino.
But DePino – who didn’t want us to show her on camera – also asked whether the intent was to “represent gay pride or anything else?”.
“That was the public perception I was hearing. My son heard things at school. I heard things in the community.”
As it turned out, the design of the dinosaur was actually chosen by 3rd graders – who won a penny drive for the honor.
They had 3 dinosaurs to pick from: Alien Life Forms, Concentric Gold, and -you guessed it – Feathers.
But as you’ll recall – while the issue that stirred up trouble was the supposedly gay pride rainbow, DePino says the motivation for her complaint was procedural and not political statement.
So Monday Night, after playing the minutes from a previous Granby School Committee meeting where they gave initial approval for the dino… they held a second vote.
And after denying that Feathers had anything to do with gay pride, the committee voted unanimously to keep it.
“I think there was a misconception out there and I’m glad that we’ve had the opportunity to set the record straight,” said Granby School Superintendent Dr. Isabelina Rodriguez.
And while the rumors still swirl around whether Feathers is straight or not… Monday night’s decision to keep the dinosaur is set in stone.
And the statue will remain set in concrete in front of the Junior-Senior High School.