Hanson attacks Qld girl for anthem protest

Harper Nielsen refused to stand for the anthem

Harper Nielsen refused to stand for the anthem

Harper Nielsen, a student at Kenmore South State School in Brisbane, made a decision to protest against Advance Australia Fair, saying it was not inclusive of indigenous Australians.

Moving forward, school officials are now giving Harper two options, the BBC reported Tuesday, citing Queensland state education officials: Either she stands in the hallway outside the classroom during the singing of the anthem, or she can decline to sing the song but stand out of respect.

Harper Nielsen was given detention for not joining classmates in a rendition of "Advance Australia Fair", a song she says ignores the nation's indigenous people.

ABORIGINAL elder and author Sam Watson has hit back at critics of nine-year-old Harper Nielsen, who refuses to stand for the national anthem because she says its not inclusive of indigenous Australians. I'm angry about this because I'm proud of this country.

She also said that "it was time to raise awareness".

The nine-year-old pupil said she believes the lyrics "we are young" marginalises indigenous people.

Instead of attacking a nine-year-old's right to protest, why aren't we instead debating the national anthem itself?

Controversial right-wing senator Pauline Hanson called for Harper to be "taken out" of school.

The school's principal had met with Harper and her parents to discuss alternatives to her protest, the Queensland state education department said. The politician claimed the child's parents were "using her as a political pawn", called her protest "silly" and demanded that she "stand and sing proudly your national anthem".

"We were surprised behaviour such as a passive non-participation might be considered in the same realm as something like bringing a knife to school or being violent towards others", she said.

In a blistering tweet, Opposition MP Jarrod Bleijie slammed Harper as a "brat".

But her protest has outraged some, including Ms Hanson, who posted a video response on Facebook describing Harper as "disgraceful".

He fully supports his daughter's views and actions, telling TODAY Extra she means "absolutely no disrespect to anyone".

"When it says 'we are young, ' it completely disregards the Indigenous Australians who were here before us for over 50,000 years", she said.

"If it's good enough for Cathy Freeman, [Rugby League player] Johnathan Thurston, and [Aboriginal leader and former Australian Labor Party National President] Warren Mundine to stand for the National anthem, it should be good enough for this nine-year- old brat".

"Rosa Parks refused to go to the back of the bus and Martin Luther King said "when that woman sat down I stood up", he said.

Mark added that he was "really proud of her for wanting to follow through on her beliefs".

"State schools set out clear standards of behaviour that they expect from their students in their Responsible Behaviour Plan for Students".

Mark Nielsen, Harper's father, told Nine News his daughter was "very fearless", adding he had met with the school's principal but no agreement had been reached.

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