Advance Australia Fair: Pauline Hanson attacks schoolgirl's anthem protest

Advance Australia Fair: Pauline Hanson attacks schoolgirl's anthem protest

"The reason why I don't sing it or stand is because Advance Australia Fair means advance White Australia", she told The Courier-Mail.

'This kid is headed down the wrong path and I blame the parents for it, for encouraging this.

Pauline Hanson, who made a name for herself espousing extreme anti-immigration and anti-refugee views, was slammed on Twitter over her comments on Harper's protest.

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.

"Harper started questioning what was in the anthem, and we started talking with her about it".

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".

The nine-year-old pupil said she believes the lyrics "we are young" marginalises indigenous people.

"She's just asking for her opinion to be heard and for her feelings to be acknowledged, and for her to have an opportunity to take a stand on something she believes very strongly about". That makes me determined to keep going, ' she said.

Harper told The Courier-Mailthe line in the national anthem, "for we are young and free", disregarded Aboriginals who had lived in Australia for tens of thousands of years and only saw Australia as a country post-colonisation.

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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"I'm proud of the national anthem".

Harper Nielsen's parents said they were proud of her for the protest, which earned her a detention - and reportedly the threat of suspension from school. She attacked the nine-year-old's parents, saying: "I tell you what, I'd give her a kick up the backside".

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

"I'm angry about this ..."

"If it's good enough for Cathy Freeman, [Rugby League player] Johnathan Thurston, and [Aboriginal leader and former Australian Labor Party National President] Warren Mundine to stand for the National anthem, it should be good enough for this nine-year- old brat".

Queensland Liberal National politician Jarrod Bleijie, the state's shadow minister for Education, shared similar thoughts.

Though schools were expected to sing it, it was never compulsory, and even the federal government's own protocols do not say it is mandatory to stand for the anthem.

When she refused to do either, the school handed Harper a lunchtime detention for "blatant disrespect".

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".

"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.

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