9 year old girl refuses to stand for Australian national anthem

Mar 2012
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31,589
New Hampshire
#1
A nine-year-old girl has stirred controversy after refusing to stand for Australia's national anthem in protest at alleged institutional racism.

Harper Nielsen claimed the song "Advance Australia Fair" ignored the nation's indigenous people. "When it says 'we are young' it completely disregards the Indigenous Australians who were here before us," she told ABC news Australia. Australian politician Pauline Hanson later labelled Harper a "brat".

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. But her protest has outraged people, including Ms Hanson, who posted a video response on Facebook describing Harper as "disgraceful". "Here we have a kid that has been brainwashed and I tell you what, I would give her a kick up the backside," the 64-year-old said. "We're talking about a child who has no idea," she says, adding: "This is divisive. "I'm proud of the national anthem. It's about who we are as a nation." Jarrod Bleijie, Queensland's shadow minister for education, also criticised Harper's parents and called their daughter's actions a "silly protest". Others, such as Australian journalist and television host Georgie Gardner, praised Harper for her "strength and character".

Girl, 9, protests at Australian anthem
 

StanStill

Former Staff
Dec 2013
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#4
My first instinct was "yeah, but obviously she is just following her parents' lead. No 9 year old comes up with an idea to do this."

And then I thought, "but what about everyone else? Aren't they doing the same thing? No kid decides to sing patriotic anthems on her own."
 
Likes: The Man
Feb 2007
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#5
No shrimp on the barbie for her!

Not sure it is appropriate for a child to be protesting at a school, though she doe shave a valid point, I believe.
 
Mar 2012
48,238
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New Hampshire
#6
My first instinct was "yeah, but obviously she is just following her parents' lead. No 9 year old comes up with an idea to do this."

And then I thought, "but what about everyone else? Aren't they doing the same thing? No kid decides to sing patriotic anthems on her own."
Unless parents bring tiny kids to a sporting event, chances are their first experience with the national anthem comes from school. My school was on the NY/Canada border and we played both the US and Canadian anthems each morning from K-12.
 

StanStill

Former Staff
Dec 2013
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#7
Unless parents bring tiny kids to a sporting event, chances are their first experience with the national anthem comes from school. My school was on the NY/Canada border and we played both the US and Canadian anthems each morning from K-12.
Right. And your opinion of doing it was shaped by your parents approval or disapproval of it. If your parents said it was the duty of every good child to learn those important songs, or simply thought you should just sing along because you were told to, you would think so too when you were 9 years old.
 
Mar 2012
48,238
31,589
New Hampshire
#8
Right. And your opinion of doing it was shaped by your parents approval or disapproval of it. If your parents said it was the duty of every good child to learn those important songs, or simply thought you should just sing along because you were told to, you would think so too when you were 9 years old.
I dont really remember my parents ever discussing it. For me it was our teachers. We had a lot of Canadians and Americans in our area so we were told in kindergarten it was done to respect each country. I remember one of the American kids talking during the Canadian anthem once, and he was suspended. It was absolutely not tolerated because we had dual anthems. The teachers wanted both to be seen as equal. So no tolerance was the policy. Parents went back and forth to work from US to Canada or vice versa so there had to be that respect.