Concerned Parents Lose, Students Win, Metalhead Principal Gets To Stay
Last week, we brought you the story of how a bunch of "concerned parents" were trying to get an awesome Canadian school principal -- Eden High School principal Sharon Burns, in St. Catharines, Ontario -- fired because they thought she was encouraging the children to worship Satan by posting pictures of herself at an Iron Maiden concert she attended.
Good news! It did not work.
The petition against her garnered 553 supporters while the petition of support zoomed well passed 20,000 after wide calls from students and fans of music and free speech.
Apparently feeling heat from the backlash, the creator of the original petition added a defence before removing it altogether.
"Sharon knows full well what she did was simply inappropriate, unnecessary and not professional but has yet to publicly admit so and is willing to allow people to believe a completely different story, making very real concerns seem petty," it said.
SHE KNOWS WHAT SHE DID.
Also, the "concerned parents" should really be aware that the reason the story became international news is because people read their stupid petition, including where they said it wasn't about metal, but that they literally believe she was openly practicing Satanism when she posted a handmade sign with "666" written on it in crayon, and everyone thought it was petty and ridiculous, because it is.
St. Catharines city councillor Karrie Porter told the National Post that she was shocked the story went as viral as it did, saying, "It is funny, silly and frustrating all at the same time." She notes there is probably a lot more to this than just the parents being snippy about a 666 sign. Apparently Sharon Burns is very cool across the board, frequently sports a purple fauxhawk, includes her pronouns on her Instagram page and is otherwise way too cool to be a school principal.
Oh wow, we just had band chocolate. Instagram
Eden High School has kind of a weird history. While it's a public school now, it was originally started by the Mennonite Brethren, then became a Christian school, and then became a public school that "still hosts privately funded afterschool Christian activities." That's a thing to think about when you are thinking about how Canada is so much better than we are. Sure, they have healthcare, but it's still technically against the law here to do religious stuff in public schools.
While Burns has removed the "offending" pictures from her school Instagram page, she has not fully retreated and is remaining quite eclectic.
Burns' interest in rock remains and has not been fully muted. She recently retweeted a U.S. university marching band's tribute to Canadian rock band Rush, alongside her tweets on school sports results and a cat meme about photo day.
Her Twitter bio still includes: "Fueled by metal & ska."
That is adorable.
The awkward thing about this is that the parents very likely do not understand why people think they are ridiculous. A lot of Christian groups these days shun secular, "worldly" culture and are, quite frankly, kind of sheltered in that way. They don't get that drawing a "666" inside of a heart with crayons is obviously a joke, because they think Satan is for real and that probably everyone who isn't a Christian is out there worshiping him. Especially very cool purple-haired school administrators.
The bright side, however, is that Burns got to keep her job and everyone thinks the parents are being ridiculous, no matter how many times they insisted they weren't being ridiculous. The Satanic Panic isn't ever really going to go away for some people, and that's sad for them, but at least they don't have the influence they once did.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse