A nine-year-old girl in Australia is facing the ire of the country's prominent politicians, calling for her suspension from school, after she refused to stand during the national anthem "out of respect for the nation's Indigenous population".
"The nine-year-old later explained to Nine News the reason behind her action, "(But) when it says Advance Australia Fair, it means advance the white people.
"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".
"I do applaud her for considering the words of the national anthem, a lot of people just rattle it off and don't consider the meaning and I also applaud her strength of character to stand up for what she believes in", Today show host Georgie Gardner said yesterday morning.
Harper Nielsen was given detention for not joining classmates in a rendition of "Advance Australia Fair", a song she says ignores the nation's indigenous people. Hanson said. "I'm offended about this..."
"I think she's a very fearless young person who is really showing what you can achieve by taking a stand in something that you believe is right", he said.
"This kid is headed down the wrong path and I blame the parents for it, for encouraging this".
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".
Controversial right-wing senator Pauline Hanson called for Harper to be "taken out" of school.
The school's principal had met with Harper and her parents to discuss alternatives to her protest, the Queensland state education department said.
When she refused to do either, the school handed Harper a lunchtime detention for "blatant disrespect".
When it came to school assembly, the few of us who took part in those studies would stay seated.
But what about when Anthony Mundine wouldn't stand for the anthem for his fight against Danny Green past year?
Jehovah's Witnesses don't stand for the national anthem or acknowledge days of remembrance because, put simply, they don't believe in showing allegiance to your country instead of Jehovah (God). He said that the girl should be suspended if she continued to sit during the anthem. She also added that she would give the girl a good "kick up the backside" for her behaviour.
"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. "People can say what they want".
"Kenmore South State School is an inclusive and tolerant school which supports the diverse points of view of all students and families", the department's statement said.
The school said if any parents have concerns, they are encouraged to contact the principal.