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Granby Dinosaur Statue Causes a Stir

Granby DinoGRANBY, Mass (WGGB) — Controversy in Granby tonight as the school committee takes up an issue that seemingly has the whole town taking sides.

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.

WGGB encourages readers to share their thoughts and engage in healthy dialogue about the issues. Comments containing personal attacks, profanity, offensive language or advertising will be removed. Please use the report comment function for any posts you feel should be reviewed. Thank you.

  • HonestABElincoln

    Unreal, people wasting time over something so stupid. Only a Granbanian would be so slow upstairs as to associate a rainbow with gay pride. Although it is used as a symbol for the gay pride movement, rainbows were around millions of years before the gay pride thing, and not all rainbows have anything to do with being gay or the movement using them.

  • boo72

    Wow!! Really WHO CARES it’s a dinosaur why can’t people just take things for what they are they always have to have a meaning for everything leave it alone. When I saw it I just thought it was cute and colorful I didn’t put no other meaning to it.3 -year-old kids painted for fun. Lighten up people there other more important things to worry about..

  • ItsMeSpfld

    Unreal. Sometimes a rainbow is just a rainbow. ESPECIALLY when it’s chosen by third graders! Some people, those causing a stir about this included, just look for ways to try to find controversy where there is none.

  • tiredofthemedia

    People are so ignorant. Look in the mirror morons.

  • medic3

    Hey DarkWave! Watch what you say!!! “Move down south to stupid-land?? Seriously? I’m from down south and so is half my ancestry. Most of us have degrees or a trade that supports us just fine. You sound mighty prejudicial over people that live on the other side of an imaginary Mason-Dixon Line. Jerk