An outraged Pauline Hanson has called a nine-year-old schoolgirl a ‘brat’ for refusing to stand for the national anthem
An outraged Pauline Hanson has called a nine-year-old schoolgirl a ‘brat’ for refusing to stand for the national anthem.
Harper Nielsen sparked both outrage and inspiration when she refused to stand when Advance Australia Fair was played at an assembly at her Queensland School.
The strong-minded pupil was given detention and threatened with suspension for the act that she believed showed solidarity with Australia’s indigenous people.
But the stance has angered Senator Hanson, who posted a video on Facebook on Wednesday calling for Harper to be kicked out of school.
‘Here we have a kid whose been brainwashed and I tell you what, I’d give her a kick up the backside,’ the One Nation leader said.
‘This kid is headed down the wrong path and I blame the parents for it, for encouraging this.
‘No. Take her out of the school.’
Harper Nielsen (pictured) sparked both outrage and inspiration when she refused to stand when Advance Australia Fair was played at an assembly at her Queensland School
Senator Hanson said there was support for the anthem among the indigenous community, as sporting stars regularly stood for the anthem.
‘I’m angry about this. I’m proud of the Australian flag and the national anthem as everyone should be and so was Cathy Freeman,’ she said.
‘We were all proud of her, her cultural background, the Aboriginality, and the whole fact that she carried the two flags.
‘She stood at the podium with the national anthem being played. Have they told this kid that?
‘If it’s good enough for Cathy Freeman, Johnathon Thurston, and Warren Mundine to stand for the National anthem, it should be good enough for this nine-year-old brat.’
Shadow education minister Jarrod Bleijie echoed Senator Hanson’s words, saying Harper deserved suspension if she continued her protest.
‘Stop the silly protest and stand and sing proudly your National Anthem. Refusing to stand disrespects our country and our veterans. Suspension should follow if she continues to act like a brat,’ he tweeted.
The nine-year-old pupil said she believes the lyrics ‘we are young’ marginalises indigenous people.
‘The reason why I don’t sing it or stand is because Advance Australia Fair means advance White Australia,’ she told The Courier-Mail.
‘When it says we are young it completely ignores the fact that indigenous culture was here for over 50,000 years before colonisation.’
Harper has the support of her ‘proud’ dad Mark.
‘She’s shown incredible bravery in wanting to stick to what she believes in and to make a stance for what she believes is right’, he told ABC radio on Wednesday.
Nine-year-old Harper Nielsen believes that the national anthem is not inclusive of the indigenous people of Australia
Kenmore South State School are at a loss of what to do as Miss Nielsen continues to not play by the rules
Kenmore South State School are at a loss of what to do as the nine-year-old continues to reject demands that she must either stand for the anthem or leave the room.
Harper was given detention last week as a result of her defiance but the punishment has not seemed to phase her.
‘I just imagine what it would feel like for all of your friends to be singing the anthem if you were an indigenous person. That makes me determined to keep going,’ she said.