A dad who has kept his son off school for months in a dispute over LGBT+ equality lessons has refused to back down despite authorities taking him to court.
Mr Hussain claimed No Outsiders, created by the school’s former assistant head Andrew Moffatt, promoted homosexuality and transgenderism. During a protest outside the school in September, Mr Hussain told BirminghamLive: “We are not against anyone expressing their sexuality or being homosexual if that’s what they want. ‘We have no issue if Mr Moffat wants to put on a dress, or dance around like a ballet dancer, or put on a skirt, we have no issue. We have an issue with teaching that nonsense to our kids.” In his legal challenge, he also claimed the school ‘goes well beyond teaching acceptance for different types of families. For instance, it advocates for children to be whatever they feel they might be (including in relation to gender)…’ The letter to the council also stated the programme “reinforces the message that it is ‘good’ to be transgender” and claimed – wrongly according to Mr Hussain – that gender identity is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010.
Jabar ‘Jay’ Hussain, 51, faces a maximum £2,500 fine – and potentially a three-month jail sentence – for failing to ensure his nine-year-old attended Parkfield Community School in Alum Rock, Birmingham. Mr Hussain has instructed lawyers to seek a judicial review over the issue if Birmingham City Council did not stop the prosecution, claiming the school’s No Outsiders equality programme was ‘incompatible’ with his rights and Muslim faith. He alleged the lessons posed a ‘safeguarding risk’ and caused confusion for young pupils about their gender identity; and that the decision to prosecute him was unlawful and breached his human rights. His lawyer, Paul Conrathe of Sinclairs Law, said: ‘This prosecution criminalises him for not submitting to teaching in breach of his rights.’ Mr Hussain previously said he did not want his son to be told ‘it is okay to be gay’.
The book ‘Introducing Teddy’, used as part of the No Outsiders programme in the school, was held up as an example of the content that Mr Hussain condemned. The book is about friendship and features a boy teddy who reveals he would rather be a girl teddy. The school reportedly responded to Mr Hussain previously to state: ‘Whilst Mr Hussain may believe being gay and lesbian as well as transgender are morally wrong, they are protected characteristics under the Equality Act.’ Protests started at the gates of Parkfield in early 2019, led by Muslim parents who said they did not want their children to be taught it was okay to be gay. The lessons were suspended for consultation over several months – but when the programme was revived, in an amended form, in September, there were new protests. Ofsted ruled the No Outsiders programme taught at Parkfield was ‘age-appropriate’ and the school has retained its ‘outstanding’ grading through the protests.