'I would go to jail for this,' says parent facing prosecution over LGBT lesson withdrawal

(Photo: Unsplash/salvatore ventura)

A father who withdrew his child from LGBT school lessons has said he is prepared to go to jail for his beliefs. 

Jabar Hussain, 51, is the first parent to face prosecution after keeping his son, Amin, away from Parkfield Primary School in Birmingham over the lessons.

He faces a fine of up to £1,000 and the imposition of a parenting order. If he does not pay the fine, he could be given a prison term. 

"If I have to go to court, I have to go to court. I would go to jail for this," he told The Times. 

The No Outsiders programme run by the school teaches children about gay and transgender issues. One book used in the programme, Introducing Teddy, tells the story of a bear called Thomas who believes he is a girl teddy. 

Hussain, a Muslim, said that one school assembly left his son feeling "confused about the differences between boys and girls". 

He has withdrawn his son from school since last September but kept him on the school register in the hopes that he can eventually return and complete his education there. 

The No Outsiders programme sparked angry protests by parents outside Parkfield last year. It was introduced ahead of a new mandatory relationships and sex education curriculum coming into force across schools in September. 

Parents will be allowed to withdraw their children from sex education at primary school level, but not from relationships education. 

Critics have warned that the relationships lessons will inevitably touch on sexual issues that many parents of faith will find objectionable. 

Hussain, who is seeking a judicial review against Birmingham City Council's decision to prosecute him, said he was worried that the lessons will teach "things that go against my religion", including "that some children are born in the wrong body". 

"This can cause confusion. If my son gets confused about this and about his own body, he might think he is a girl," he said.

"The school thinks this is OK and has to be accepted, even though transgender can mean medical treatment and surgery which could damage my son mentally and physically for life."