You'd be forgiven for thinking that the Satanic panic surrounding heavy metal had died off in recent years, but parents at a Canadian school have revived the phenomenon for the 21st century after calling for a principal to be fired due to her love of Iron Maiden.
Parents at the Eden High School in St. Catherines, Ontario, have launched a petition demanding the removal of its principal, Sharon Burns, after the rocker posted images of herself paying homage to the band on social media which, the petition claims, demonstrates an "allegiance to Satanic practices".
On her Instagram account, Burns is pictured holding the horns up gesture while standing in front of an Iron Maiden banner and license plate, while another image shows a figure of the band's mascot Eddie on the dashboard of her car, with a handwritten sign that reads “Eddie 666”.
The petition, titled Eden High School Principal, Sharon Burns, Needs To Be Transferred Immediately! rallied a total of 553 supporters, however has since been closed. The page's description read:
“As concerned parents… we are deeply disturbed that the principal assigned to the school blatantly showed Satanic symbols and her allegiance to Satanic practices on her public social media platforms where all the students can see them under.
“As parents we are demanding her transfer to another school. Please replace her with another principal who aligns with the values of the families at Eden and will not sabotage the teaching or upholding of those values and will not try to introduce impressionable students to Satanic practices or symbolism.”
Since the launch of the petition, the page has received much backlash, with many suggesting that it is unfair to target someone for their appreciation of a certain kind of music. As a response, the group stated that it was not Sharon's love of Iron Maiden that caused the problem, but the "satanic" imagery that the band represents. “If she had not posted a picture of her own handmade 666 sign, this petition WOULD NOT EXIST" explained the group. "Nobody cares what band she likes and this is not about her choice in what she listens to. That would be petty and nonsensical.”
Thankfully, a counter petition, titled We Need Mrs. Burns, has received almost 20,000 signatures (and counting). The page reads: “It is ridiculous that a couple of parents only judge her role as a principal only based on an Instagram post. Eden High School is a public school. Not a Christian school.
"If you somehow don't like the principal of your child, grandchild, relative etc.'s school, then send them to another one. The principal has made so many efforts to remind students that Eden is a diverse place. She has even turned a whole room into a prayer room for students who are practicing religions other than Christianity, like practicing Islam. She has made Eden a safe space for so many people.
“She [Burns] spreads nothing but love and kindness, and is probably one of the best and most enthusiastic principals the school has ever had.”