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If you go to the Instagram page for Sharon Burns, the principal of Eden High School in St. Catharines, Ontario, you’ll find a lot of pictures of staff members showing what they’re like outside of school. There are teachers hiking in scenic areas, at sporting events, with pets, etc. It’s an attempt to humanize them, showing students what they’re like “behind the mask.”

Burns didn’t exclude herself from that series. She’s a fan of heavy metal music — specifically the band Iron Maiden — and so she posted a picture of herself next to tons of Iron Maiden paraphernalia:

Would I expect that picture from a principal? No. That’s the point. This is what Burns is like outside of a professional setting, and it’s pretty damn cool.

She apparently also posted this image:

That’s a reference to Eddie, a “mascot” for the band, while the number is presumably a reference to the band’s album “The Number of the Beast.”

The point is: All of this is harmless. It’s just a cutesy way to show students their teachers and administrators are people, too, with their own hobbies and lives.

But those two pictures led one mother, Debbi Lynn, to start a petition calling for Burns to be fired or transferred because she’s showing off “her allegiance to Satanic practices.”

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 under @edenprincipal (not her personal account). Our 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. 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.

As of this writing, that petition has nearly 500 signatures.

There’s no evidence Burns believes in Satan, promotes Satanism (whatever that means), or was even aware that there was a Satanic reference in that image. She removed both Instagram posts, I assume out of caution, but there wasn’t anything wrong with them.

Debbi Lynn, on the other hand, can’t believe people are mocking her online, saying in an update:

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. If she had not posted a picture of her own handmade 666 sign, this petition WOULD NOT EXIST.

I highly doubt that. Conservative Christians don’t have a very good track record when it comes to keeping things in perspective. Debbi Lynn didn’t bother doing any research or asking any questions. Why would anyone believe her when she says she wouldn’t have complained if the perceived offense was smaller?

Here’s the good news: Because of how outrageous this is, other people have started a petition to keep Burns in her job. That one has nearly 15,000 signatures.

… The principal has made so many efforts to remind students that [Eden High School] 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 spreads nothing but love and kindness, and is probably one of the best and most enthusiastic principals the school has ever had. If you would like to bring some light to this whole petition, please consider signing!

There’s no reason Burns should face any consequences for what she did, much less a demotion or job loss. All we’ve learned from this is that parents should avoid Debbi Lynn at all costs. She has awful judgment.

(Thanks to Dan for the link)

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Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.