'Kick up the backside': schoolgirl slammed over anthem protest

Sergio Conner
September 14, 2018

"When it was originally written, Advance Australia Fair meant advance the white people of Australia", she told national broadcaster ABC.

She took to social media to express her outrage - and blame Harper's parents.

Australian Sen. Pauline Hanson posted a video in which she criticized Harper.

But Brisbane Aboriginal elder Sam Watson told the ABC Harper and her parents should be congratulated.

The Australian schoolgirl who refused to stand during the singing of the national anthem at assembly out of respect for the Indigenous population is receiving worldwide applause and global media attention.

"We have talked through those thing with [Harper] and she understands that there's diversity of opinion out there", Mark said on Wednesday.

Asked how she felt about the option given to her by the school to leave the room when the anthem was played, Harper said "I don't think I should be made to leave the room or do something different because I have different beliefs".

"I support that, I support our flag, everything it stands for and the free country we live in today", Mr Bleijie said.

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

"Where it says, "we are young". we are not young if we count the Indigenous Australians who were here for over 50,000 years before the British colonised Australia", Harper told the panel on Wednesday.

Her actions have sparked a contentious debate overnight, with many online praising the nine-year-old for standing up for her beliefs.

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Harper was given detention at Kenmore South State School, and her parents said she had been threatened with suspension, though school officials deny the threat.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson also labelled Harper a "brat" and claimed she had been "brainwashed". This kid is headed down the inappropriate course...select her out of the college."I present you what, I'd give her a kick up the backside."Alternatively, psychologist Susan De Campo told A Most up-to-date Affair the topic had been "blown out of share".The college has offered Harper the amount of leaving the college corridor while the anthem is being carried out".

"I'm angry about this".

Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the girl should "follow the rules".

Her choice of language was echoed by Jarrod Bleijie, a shadow minister in the local parliament and a member of the centre-right Liberal National Party of Queensland.

"Stop the silly protest and stand and sing proudly..."

"Refusing to stand disrespects our country and our veterans".

"At no time did the school suggest that the student would be suspended or excluded for refusing to take part in the national anthem", a department spokesperson said in a statement.

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.

Nevertheless, infuriated right-wing cultural warriors such as Mark Latham, are demanding the anthem be made compulsory in schools and are treating Nielsen's actions as some sort of crime that needs to be punished.

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