Praying football coach defies school district and still has a job … for now

DC NEWSBy Casey Harper

The Washington state football coach who defied his school district by praying with his team after the homecoming game last week is still employed and plans to coach at the game Friday night, despite the district’s threats against him.

Bremerton School District began investigating the possible legal ramifications of coach Joe Kennedy for his post-game prayers on the 50-yard line, citing possible constitutional violations since it says he is a school employee appearing to endorse religion. Initially, the coach agreed to stop praying but later changed his mind and prayed at the school’s homecoming game Oct. 16.

Hours before that homecoming game, the district warned the coach that “violations cannot be tolerated,” clearly raising the question of whether he would lose his job. Despite this, the coach is still employed and plans to coach, and pray, at the game Friday night.

“We believe he is in compliance with all laws and regulations by praying as he did on Friday night [of last week],” Hiram Sasser, the lawyer from the Liberty Institute, which is representing Kennedy, said in a statement provided to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The district confirmed that Kennedy is still employed and said it is continuing talks with him and his legal team to resolve the situation.

“The District continues to hope that the District and Mr. Kennedy can arrive at common understandings that will ensure that the rights of all community members are honored and the law is respected,” the district said in a statement.

So, for now, Kennedy will continue to pray at the games while waiting to see if he will be able to keep his job.

“We don’t anticipate there being much hoopla,” Sasser said in a statement provided to TheDCNF. “He will pray as he did before and go from there.”

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