Wednesday, 19 June, 2019

Aussie Schoolgirl Refuses To Stand For National Anthem

Harper Nielsen refused to stand for the anthem Harper Nielsen refused to stand for the anthem
Deanna Wagner | 14 September, 2018, 11:05

"When it was originally written, Advance Australia Fair meant advance the white people of Australia".

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.

Shock jock Alan Jones and controversial commentator Mark Latham said Harper was "defying the school".

The grade 4 student said the decision to take a stand by sitting down was made "mostly" by herself, but she did discuss the subject with her parents, who say they could "not be more proud" of their daughter's actions.

A 9-year-old schoolgirl is facing suspension after she refused to stand for Australia's national anthem.

Australia is in the midst of its own roiling national anthem debate, but this one was sparked not by a professional athlete but a 9-year-old girl.

The Courier-Mailnewspaper broke the story about the Year 4 student and how the school told her she had to stand or leave the building.

"We're talking about a child who has no idea", she says, adding: "This is divisive".

"No. Take her out of the school". That makes me determined to keep going, ' she said.

Using her astonishingly verbose vocabulary for a nine-year-old, Harper told Channel Nine that "it's basically institutionalised racism".

There are also concerns her actions may inspire other students to follow suit. "And I'll tell you what, I'd give her a kick up the backside".

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Queensland Liberal National politician Jarrod Bleijie called the young girl a "brat" on Twitter after the demonstration.

The Kenmore South State School student was given a detention following her silent protest, where she was ordered to write an apology or face possible suspension.

"Shame on her parents for using her as a political pawn".

The incident and remarks drew criticism from politicians, including former prime minister Tony Abbott, who suggested it signals "good manners" to stand while the anthem plays.

Mr Bleijie's Tweet claimed Harper's protest "disrespects our country and our veterans".

"Stop the silly protest and stand and sing proudly your National Anthem".

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

Nielsen made her thoughts known at the start of the school year when she refused to get out of her seat for, or sing along with, the anthem, and the Courier Mail reports that her parents are now at loggerheads with the school over the punishment handed to their daughter.

"We were surprised behavior such as a passive nonparticipation might be considered in the same realm as something like bringing a knife to school or being violent toward others", Miller said.

A spokesperson for the Queensland state education department said the school had offered Harper the choice of remaining outside the hall during the anthem or simply not singing.