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It appears Satanic panic is making a comeback in St. Catharines, Ontario, where one principal is facing calls to step down after parents found out she was an Iron Maiden fan.
Upon seeing photos on Instagram of Sharon Burns, principal of Eden High School, associated with the heavy metal band, one parent decided to create a Change.org petition to have Burns removed from her job, accusing her of “allegiance to Satanic practices.” Since then, over 500 people have signed, agreeing that Burns needs to step down.
The petition, titled “Eden High School Principal, Sharon Burns, Needs to Be Transferred Immediately!” read, “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 @edenprincipal (not her personal account).”
The image is no longer up on the page, but it was a snapshot of Iron Maiden’s mascot Eddie alongside a pice of paper with a hand-drawn “666” inside a heart. Supporters of the petition say the image is not inclusive, and explained: “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.”
A counter-petition in support of Burns, titled “We need Mrs. Burns,” has received over 21,000 signatures. “The principal has made so many efforts to remind students that Eden is a diverse place,” it reads. “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 spreads nothing but love and kindness, and is probably one of the best and most enthusiastic principals the school has ever had.”
The original petition has now been taken down, but Burns’ Twitter bio has remained unchanged, stating that she is “fueled by metal & ska.”