For the first time in 10 months former Principal of 'Eden High School' Sharon Burns speaks out and tells her side of the story to The Metal Voice in an Exclusive Interview. She talks about what really happened in an attempt to have her removed/ transferred from her job as principal over an Iron Maiden picture posted associated on her Instagram.
Watch here the Exclusive interview on The Metal Voice
When asked if she wanted to make a statement about the situation
"This is why I wanted to talk to you guys about this There is a bigger story. The parents (of the school) are great and the kids (at the school) are great, it's a great community and they weren't out to get me (the parents) willy, nilly there is a history. It was a bad and poor decision on my part to post (Eddie 666) picture, unthinkingly. I should have thought and known better from working at that school for 5 years. It (666) has biblical and religious connotations. I kind of knew that but I didn't even think about it when I posted it. I posted 666 picture in a school where we were having this shift from what they were used to as a private Christian school to a public school. At one end I was insensitive and at the other end offensive so I took the post down. I should have been aware of the sensitivities around the number (666). So lesson learned, wouldn't do it again but I will still continue to enjoy Iron Maiden
When did you remove the Eddie 666 picture before or after the parents petition to have you transferred
"Prior to that, it was the same day, Sunday, it was when my kids said Mom look at your Instagram it's blowing up and I said let's delete the whole post and maybe this will be all over tomorrow."
When asked if she could go back in time would she re-post a picture of her and her husband behind Iron Maiden posters (no 666)
"Probably, it's nice to see that the Principal is a woman and a metal fan. I think that this is an unusual thing for a Principal in High School. So if it helps to connect with a couple more kids who feel like they can come and chat with me if they are having a problem I would. "
When asked if she could go back in time would she re-post Eddie with 666 on Instagram
"No, I would definitely not post Eddie with 666, I would not do anything with that number anymore."
When asked if the Iron Maiden camp had reached out to her after the incident
"The official Iron Maiden photographer John McMurtrie sent me a big poster, it just showed up in the mail and I didn't even know about it . I think he is traveling with Maiden to Hamilton Ontario in the fall, in October 2022. So John reached out and said he is going to try and get me into the Trooper Room, which sounds pretty cool."
Back story Oct 2021
Sharon Burns the then principal of 'Eden High School' in St. Catharine's, Ontario Canada (public school) posted photos associated with Iron Maiden 'Eddie mascot' on Instagram. The main source of controversy was a photo of Iron Maiden's mascot Eddie, which featured a hand-drawn "666."
After the Maiden Eddie picture posting, a parents group from the school attempted in removing the Ontario school principal by launching a petition accusing Burns of "allegiance to Satanic practices."
The petition, titled "Eden High School Principal, Sharon Burns, Needs to Be Transferred Immediately!" claimed that this image was "not inclusive." The statement further read, "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." The petition received 553 signatures.
However a counter-petition in support of Burns was kick started by the students and supporters that received over 20,000 signatures entitled "We need Mrs. Burns,"
"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 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."
The original petition seeking Burns' removal was taken down, as well as the Iron Maiden associated photos posted by Burns on Instagram but the news went global.
Now retired Sharon tells her side of the story for the first time after being silent for 10 months