Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Schoolgirl (9) sparks intense debate in Australia after anthem protest

Schoolgirl (9) sparks intense debate in Australia after anthem protest

Discussing Nielsen's objections to the song's lyrics - the Year 4 kid told ABC she believes they do not adequately represent or acknowledge Indigenous Australia - Hanson said "here we have a kid, is being brainwashed, and I'll tell you what: I'd give her a kick up the backside".

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.

He threw his full support behind the Kenmore South State School, who demanded Harper stand or leave the building.

Nielsen was given detention last week for "blatant disrespect" for not singing the anthem, according to the BBC.

It all started when Brisbane grade-schooler Harper Nielsen refused to stand for the singing of the Australian national anthem, "Advance Australia Fair", the Aussie news site News.com.aureported Wednesday. (9)"Converse colleges teach out certain requirements of behaviour that they question from their college students in their to blame behaviour thought for varsity students", a spokesperson said. I'm angry about this because I'm proud of this country.

Of the punishment, the young girl said, "I felt like they were trying to take my power away and that made me feel a bit upset because everything that I fight for is for equality and for equal power for everyone".

But the stance has angered Senator Hanson, who posted a video on Facebook calling for Harper to be kicked out of school.

"It's about who we are as a nation", she said.

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The politician said the nine-year-old should be suspended if she continued to sit during the anthem.

Controversial right-wing senator Pauline Hanson said Australian schools were "brainwashing" children and called for Nielsen to be "taken out" of her school. "I'm proud of the Australian flag and the national anthem as everyone should be and so was Cathy Freeman", she said.

"And when it says "we are young" it means that it ignores the Indigenous Australians who were here before the English for over 50,000 years".

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

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.

Harper's father Mark Nielsen, who is an associate professor at the School of Psychology at the University of Queensland, told ABC Radio his daughter had shown "incredible bravery". "Suspension should follow if she continues to act like a brat", he said on Twitter.

In a statement, the Queensland Department of Education said it was inclusive and supported different points of view, but denied that Harper had been threatened with suspension or expulsion for her protest.

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

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