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Chris Djukanovic, Getty Images / EMI

Parents at a Canadian public high school are trying to remove the principal because she posted images on social media displaying her fandom for Iron Maiden.

The controversy stems from pictures of Mrs. Sharon Burns, the school’s principal, displaying the customary rock “devil horns” hand gesture, along with a handmade sign featuring the number 666. The images were posted to a public Instagram account used for school purposes.

“As concerned parents with impressionable children at Eden High School in St. Catharines, Ontario, 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,” states a petition started by the parents. The group goes on to argue that the “school is based on inclusion, and openly displaying Satanic symbols (on a public social media platform) that directly goes against the principles of the vast majority of families who represent the school, is not inclusive. As parents we are demanding her transfer to another school.”

A follow up message to the petition’s Change.org page insisted the parents were not concerned about Burns’ musical choices, but rather her homemade sign.

“This petition is not about Sharon Burns’ love for Iron Maiden. At no point has it ever been. This petition is about a principal of a school openly displaying her own handmade sign with the 666 clearly displayed on it which she knows full well what that satanic symbol means to the vast majority of families in her school and she put it on a professional, public @edenprincipal account on social media, not a private one, which she very easily could have done," the message reads. "If she had not posted a picture of her own handmade 666 sign, this petition would not exist. Nobody cares what band she likes and this is not about her choice in what she listens to. That would be petty and nonsensical. This is only about openly choosing to display Satanic symbols on a professional profile page.”

In response to the parents’ outrage, students have rallied behind Burns.

“It is ridiculous that a couple of parents only judge her role as a principal only based on an Instagram post. (About liking the band Iron Maiden. That’s it.),” the students proclaimed in a petition of their own. “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 students further stated that Burns “spreads nothing but love and kindness, and is probably one of the best and most enthusiastic principals the school has ever had.”

At the time of writing, the students’ petition had over 7,600 signatures, compared to the parents’, which had 365.

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