A group of parents in Ontario, Canada, are seemingly trying to bring back the age of Satanic Panic after trying to have a school principal removed from her position over her love of Iron Maiden.
Sharon Burns occasionally posts about being a heavy metal fan, and specifically a fan of Iron Maiden, on her public social media accounts.
But Eden High School parent Debbi Lynn took issue with the “Satanic imagery” that shows up in some of those photos due to its association with old school heavy metal bands, and started a petition to have her transferred.
“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,” the petition reads.
It goes on to say the school is “based on inclusion,” and claims that the principal “openly displaying Satanic symbols…that directly [go] against the principles of the vast majority of families who represent the school is not inclusive.”
Lynn would probably do well to understand that being inclusive is actually the opposite of demanding someone be excluded from a group because their beliefs allegedly don’t fall in line with the majority, but considering she and the other 542 people who have signed the petition (which is open to the public) thus far are that threatened by band imagery, it seems unlikely inclusivity is actually her concern.
After the story was picked up by several outlets, the petition was updated to claim that this isn’t about Burns’ love of the band, but rather her writing “666” by hand and posting it to Instagram.
While the original photo has since been deleted from Burns’ Instagram, a copy shared alongside the petition shows that it was a picture of Eddie, Iron Maiden’s zombie mascot, sitting on the dashboard of a vehicle with “666” — commonly associated with both him and the band as a whole — written in a heart underneath.
In other words, it’s still ultimately about the band.
Another petition began circulating not long after the first one, intended to counteract the small number of parents wringing their hands over a principal who listens to heavy metal in her spare time.
“Eden High School is a public school. Not a Christian school,” it reads. “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 many people.”
And it sounds like that may be the crux of the parents’ true concern — that Burns isn’t catering exclusively to one stringent world outlook that matches these overly vocal parents’ beliefs.
The counter-petition has racked up over 17,000 signatures thus far.