Qld girl gets detention for anthem protest

Harper Nielsen staged a peaceful protest and refused to sing the national anthem

Harper Nielsen staged a peaceful protest and refused to sing the national anthem

A nine-year-old girl who refuses to stand during the national anthem at school has been called a "brat" who deserves suspension.

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

"(But) when it says Advance Australia Fair, it means advance the white people", Nielsen told the local station.

In her only television interview to air on Channel 9 tonight, Harper Nielsen told 9NEWS she believed the anthem is disrespectful to indigenous Australians.

The Queensland Department of Education rebutted Harper's claim that she had been threatened with suspension and said the school allowed for peaceful demonstrations. (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.

"We're talking about a child who has no idea", she says, adding: "This is divisive". Hanson said. "I'm offended about this..."

"Here we have a kid whose been brainwashed, the One Nation leader said: "I tell you what, I'd give her a kick up the backside".

While I agree that Harper's anthem boycott may have been largely in part due to conversations with her parents and a result of her upbringing, the truth of the matter is that Harper's courage should be admired.

"Her parents should be congratulated for raising a brilliant, thinking young student who won't be forced to do something that is against her deeply held beliefs", he said.

In Queensland, shadow education minister Jarrod Bleijie had the same name for Harper, accusing her parents of using her as a "political pawn".

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

Like the NFL gridiron players who have "taken a knee" during the United States national anthem in protest at racial inequity, these athletes were roundly condemned and ostracised by the sporting and political establishments.

The schoolgirl was given detention last week for "blatant disrespect" over her failure to participate with classmates during a rendition of the song at Kenmore South State School in Brisbane.

While media reports say the state school was considering suspending her, the outcry in support of her appears to have made them reconsider the decision.

Jehovah's Witnesses don't stand for the national anthem or acknowledge days of remembrance because, put simply, they don't believe in showing allegiance to your country instead of Jehovah (God).

Poor Harper was told she could not leave the office until she had signed a written apology and that she could be suspended.

"I do applaud her for considering the words of the national anthem, a lot of people just rattle it off and don't consider the meaning", he said.

"Suspension should follow if she continues to act like a brat #qldpol".

The school said if any parents have concerns, they are encouraged to contact the principal.

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