Nine-Year-Old Australian Attacked For Not Standing During Anthem
A nine-year-old Australian girl has been criticized by politicians for refusing to stand in class during the national anthem.
Harper Nielsen, who lives in Queensland, Australia, says she is doing so out of respect for her country’s indigenous population. The anthem, called “Advance Australia Fair” contains the following lyrics:
“Australians all let us rejoice
For we are young and free
We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil
Our home is girt by sea
Our land abounds in nature’s gifts
Of beauty rich and rare
In history’s page, let every stage
Advance Australia Fair
In joyful strains then let us sing
Advance Australia Fair”
“…when it says Advance Australia Fair,” Nielsen told Nine News. “It means advance the white people.”
She followed that up with, “And when it says ‘we are young’ it completely disregards the indigenous Australians who were here before us for 50,000 years.”
On the whole, the Queensland Department of Education has taken her side on the issue.
“Kenmore South State School is an inclusive and tolerant school which supports the diverse points of view of all students and families,” the Department said in a public statement. However, Australian politicians have taken the opportunity to criticize and attack Nielsen and her parents.
“It’s about who we are as a nation, it’s part of us,” said right-wing Senator Pauline Hanson today. “Here we have a kid who’s been brainwashed and I’ll tell you what, I’d give her a kick up the backside.”
Other politicians, like Queensland’s shadow minister of Education Jarrod Bleijie, took to social media:
Shame on her parents for using her as a political pawn.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 #qldpol https://t.co/F0StkeBJDa
— Jarrod Bleijie (@JarrodBleijieMP) September 12, 2018
Nielsen’s parents, however, are very proud of their daughter.
“I think she is a very brave young person,” said her father Mark Nielsen. “Who is really showing what you can achieve when you take a stand in something that you believe is right.”
He went on to state that an arrangement is being made with his daughter’s school, but the nine-year-old has made it clear that she won’t be swayed.
“I’m not someone who just obliges by the rules of older people just because they’re older,” says Harper.