- A Canadian school principal loves Iron Maiden and posts about the band on social media.
- Parents started a petition to transfer Eden High School principal Sharon Burns.
- They said it was inappropriate for her to post a drawing with the symbol ‘666’.
Parents of high school students in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada have started a petition to remove a school official over classic heavy metal band Iron Maiden.
Nearly 400 people have signed the Change.org petition to transfer Eden High School Principal Sharon Burns.
IHeartRadio reported that the petition was started by Debbi Lynn.
“As concerned parents of impressionable children at Eden High School in St. Catharines, Ontario, we are deeply concerned that the principal assigned to the school blatantly displayed satanic symbols and her allegiance to satanic practices on her public social media platforms where all students can see them under @edenprincipal (not her personal account),’ the petition reads.
On Friday, an update on the petition said they wanted to remove Burns not because of her love for Iron Maiden, but because of “openly her OWN handmade sign with the 666 clearly displayed on it.”
The number 666 is used to represent the devil, the antichrist or evil.
Founded in 1975 in East London, England, Iron Maiden grew popular in the early 1980s with several albums going platinum or gold, including “The Number of the Beast” in 1982 and “Piece of Mind” in 1983. group is still touring.
Burns’s Twitter bio identifies her as “Principal at Eden High School. Growth Mindset Practitioner. Fueled by metal & ska. & chickens.”
A petition in support of Burns had more than 10,000 supporters Friday night.
“It’s ridiculous that a few parents judge her role as principal based on an Instagram post alone. (About liking the band Iron Maiden. That’s it.) Eden High School is a public school. Not a Christian school. If somehow you don’t like your child’s school, grandchild, relative, etc., send them to another one,” it read.
The incident is reminiscent of the “satanic panic” of the 1980s, when conspiracy theorists alleged that Satanic cults abused children, NPR reported.
Vox reported that paranoia increased in the 1980s as many worried about changing family structures, the need for childcare and an increase in kidnapping attention when victims’ faces were placed on milk cartons.
At the same time, Vox reported that Christian fundamentalism was on the rise, and so were posts battling things to do with ghosts. For example, anti-occult crusader Pat Pulling said Dungeons & Dragons, a table-top fantasy role-playing game, caused her daughter’s suicide and labeled the game dangerous for children.
Vice reported that the fear also led to certain types of music being seen as the “work of Satan,” especially heavy metal.
Eden High School, Burns and Iron Maiden have not responded to Insider’s request for comment at the time of publication.