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USA News

Christian coach previously fired over playing field prayers is reinstated

by Heather Preston

A Christian football coach who was sacked for praying on the field after games, has been officially reinstated to his previous position.

Joe Kennedy filed a lawsuit against Bremerton High School in Washington after he was suspended from his role as assistant football coach in 2015 for refusing to stop leading post-match prayers.

The school previously argued that Kennedy’s actions compromised the rights of students not to feel pressured to engage in religious practices.

Following years of litigation to protect his First Amendment right to freedom of religious expression, the U.S Supreme court ruled to uphold his constitutional right to pray in June 2022.

The First Amendment protects free speech and free exercise of religion, but it also prohibits the establishment of religion by the government.

Prior to this ruling the Supreme Court took the line that public school-sponsored prayer (voluntary or not) violates the Establishment Clause.

The Kennedy vs Bremerton School ruling set a landmark precedent to prevent the government from censoring private religious expression.

Bremerton School District wrote to Kennedy to confirm his re-employment as a member of Bremerton High School coaching staff on 8th March.

Sharing the news on Instagram, Kennedy said it was “great to be back in the family.”

 

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