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Top Australian politicians rips 9-year-old for not standing during national anthem
Australian right-wing senator Pauline Hanson ripped a 9-year-old girl after she refused to stand for her country's national anthem and called for her to be kicked out of school.
CNN reported on Wednesday that Hanson called for Harper Nielsen, a young girl who refused to stand during her country's national anthem out of respect for the country's indigenous population, to be kicked out of school in a video statement shared to Twitter.
"It's about who we are as a nation, it's part of us ... Here we have a kid who's been brainwashed and I'll tell you what, I'd give her a kick up the backside," Hanson said in the video on Wednesday.
"This kid is headed down the wrong path and I blame the parents for encouraging this," Hanson continued.
Nielsen told a local CNN affiliate she chose to stay seated during her country's national anthem because she found the song to be disrespectful to the nation's indigenous population.
In the Australian national anthem, titled "Advance Australia Fair," there is a line that reads: "Australians all let us rejoice, for we are young and free."
"[But] when it says Advance Australia Fair, it means advance the white people," Nielsen told the local station.
"And when it says 'we are young' it completely disregards the indigenous Australians who were here before us for 50,000 years," the 9-year-old student continued.
Queensland Liberal National politician Jarrod Bleijie called the young girl a "brat" on Twitter after the demonstration.
"Shame on her parents for using her as a political pawn. Stop the silly protest and stand and sing proudly your National Anthem," Bleijie said.
Bleijie also called for the young girl to be suspended from her school if she continued to demonstrate during the national anthem.
But Nielsen's father, Mark Nielsen, said his daughter was "very brave" for her protest.
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.
"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.