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9-year-old Aussie girl faces politicians ire over anthem protest

14 September 2018

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.

He said Harper has shown "incredible bravery" in sticking to what she believes in.

She has vowed to continue her peaceful protest against Advance Australia Fair, and despite gaining national attention the youngster said she had "no regrets".

"We have talked through those thing with [Harper] and she understands that there's diversity of opinion out there", Mark said on Wednesday.

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

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

Prominent politicians have attacked Nielsen and have asked the school to kick her out.

"It says we are young, but we're not young if we count the Indigenous Australians, who were here for over 50,000 before the British colonised Australia".

"I would have thought he would know better than using a nine-year-old to get his political views across", Mr Bleijie said.

"I just totally applaud her for taking a stand for what she believes".

Harper, who goes to Kenmore South State School in Queensland, told Nine News that she chose to sit during the national anthem. This kid is headed down the inappropriate course...select her out of the college."I present you what, I'd give her a kick up the backside."Alternatively, psychologist Susan De Campo told A Most up-to-date Affair the topic had been "blown out of share".The college has offered Harper the amount of leaving the college corridor while the anthem is being carried out".

After her story made headlines, Kawana MP Jarrod Bleijie tweeted that Harper was a "brat" and her parents were using the Year 4 students as a "political pawn".

"I'm angry about this.

Stop the silly protest and stand and sing proudly your National Anthem", the Queensland Shadow Minister for Education wrote.

"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".

He posted on Twitter: "Refusing to stand disrespects our country and our veterans".

In fact those were her exact words when questioned over the matter by ABC radio in Brisbane.

Harper's father Mark Nielsen said they had met with the school's principal but they remained at loggerheads.

Harper was given detention last week as a result of her defiance but the punishment has not seemed to phase her.

The Queensland Department of Education also said in a statement obtained by the local station that they had never suggested that Nielsen should be taken out of school for refusing to stand for the national anthem.

"State schools set out clear standards of behaviour that they expect from their students in their Responsible Behaviour Plan for Students".

9-year-old Aussie girl faces politicians ire over anthem protest