Roy Gilbert

Federal Judge Rules High School Is Allowed to Prohibit Football Coach from Praying after Games

Federal Judge Rules High School Is Allowed to Prohibit Football Coach from Praying after Games

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A federal judge ruled last week that a Washington state school was within their rights when they prohibited then-high school football coach Joe Kennedy from kneeling in prayer on the 50-yard line after games.

According to The Christian Post , the case was sent back to a lower court from the U.S. Supreme Court where Federal Judge Ronald Leighton ruled in favor of the Bremerton School District in Washington.

Since 2008, Kennedy established the practice of kneeling in prayer post-game. In 2015, however, the school district suspended him from his position with the Bremerton High School football team after he refused to cease praying.

In 2016, Kennedy sued the school district for violation of “his right to religious expression as a school employee.”

Yet, Leighton denied Kennedy’s injunction request. Kennedy met an additional defeat in 2017 when his case was heard by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Fast forward to last January, Kennedy’s case was refused by the U.S Supreme Court. According to Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, the refusal came out of “unanswered factual questions surrounding the school district’s reasoning for banning the prayer,” amid major constitutional issues in Kennedy’s free speech claim.

In an article by the Kitsap Sun , Leighton indicated that religious expression can be prohibited by the school district as it seemingly paints a picture of the government’s religious support. However, the government has no place in initiating official religions under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.Leighton […]

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