The Granby Dinosaur Controversy

A group of students who attend Granby Jr/Sr High School believe that the dinosaur out front should be returned to its original colors to promote inclusivity.


The dinosaur that proudly stands guard over both Granby school campuses.

If you’ve ever been to Granby, there’s a good chance you’ve spotted a few dinosaur statues around town. In 2013, important locations in the town were gifted a dinosaur out front, including the Granby Jr. Sr. High School. The design for this dinosaur, chosen by Granby students at East Meadow, was an array of rainbow feathers and spiked controversy across town. Eventually there were parent complaints about the dinosaur “promoting homosexuality” and with little to no resistance from school officials, it was decided to completely redesign the dinosaur’s color scheme.

In 2013, the project to put up the statues began. A fundraising contest was held in the West Street School and whichever class raised the most money was allowed to choose the design for the statue that would go up in front of the school. The class that won chose the design of rainbow feathers. Being elementary kids, little to none knew that the rainbow was also a symbol for gay pride – rather they liked the pretty colors. 

Unfortunately, not too long after it was put in place, a complaint was filed by a parent. According to United Press International, the resident complained that, “the rainbow colors represent support for homosexuality and should not be placed on public property.” Fortunately for the dinosaur, the town decided to keep the statue. Despite the original decision to keep the dinosaur statue in place, it still continued to be the center of controversy, causing the town to cave in and repaint it in the mid 2010s.

Now, years later, some students are demanding the school make good on it’s commitment to fairness and return the dinosaur to its original colors. While The Granby Jr/Sr High School has always voiced its support for people regardless of their race, sexuality, and gender, after finding out that the motivations behind removing the rainbow colors were complaints about homosexuality, these students are questioning the school’s true commitment to equality.

Students aren’t the only ones who demand justice. When asked about her thoughts on it, Mrs. Stapert, an art teacher at the school, said, “I love the rainbow dinosaur, and I think some people thought it meant ‘Pride’ and that’s all it meant, but it can mean lots of different things.”

“I thought it was supportive in a lot of different ways, Stapert continued, “supportive of the arts, and supportive of the LGBTQ+.”

It’s believed that changing the dinosaur back to its original state could make a positive impact, especially for the LGBTQ+ staff and students that attend the school.

 “I don’t think the dinosaur would be hurting anyone, you are who you are,” said GJHS math teacher Mr. Holden.

It’s the belief of the students who are currently raising this issue that the dinosaur being rainbow was never “promoting homosexuality” but rather a symbol that those who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community are welcome and valued at school. They believe fact that the color was changed gives those students a sense of unimportance or like they don’t matter. The students complain that it feels as if the school didn’t fight very hard for the rainbow dinosaur to stay, and they maintain that no school should ever want any students or staff to feel as if they were given up on.

These students maintain that is why the school should strive to get it repainted to its original color. They believe everybody has a right to feel like they belong, and stress that the school needs that symbol back again. 

Recently, students have been meeting with Granby School admin to work to bring this issue to light once again. This coming winter (date TBD), the school is going to host an assembly regarding this issue. The student body will be informed and educated on the rational behind changing the dinosaur’s colors. Members of this community are in search of support to go through with this returning the dinosaur to its original state, and other propositions or ideas on the issue will be taken into account.