The High School Coach Who Got Himself Suspended…For Praying After A Game?

The High School Coach Who Got Himself Suspended…For Praying After A Game?

File this under the heading of “galactically stupid leftist school districts”


Joe Kennedy, who coaches football at Bremerton High School in Washington State, has been suspended for praying after a Friday night football game that Satanists had threatened to protest.

A student had invited The Satanic Temple of Seattle to attend the game to protest the school’s tolerance of the coach’s prayer, and to force the Bremerton School District to clarify its policy.

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Although Kennedy does not instruct or encourage any students to join him when he prays, the school board had ordered him never again to pray in public.

After each football game for the past seven years, Kennedy, who is the assistant coach of the high school’s football team, waits until the players have left the football field, then walks onto the 50-yard line to kneel in quiet prayer for his students, thanking God for a good game and for the opportunity to be involved in his student’s lives, and praying for God’s blessing on their future. The prayer is very short—typically less than 30 seconds.

Kennedy does not use his authority or position to instruct students to join him. Nonetheless, over time, many of his students have voluntarily adopted the practice of joining their coach on the field. One student is an agnostic and the son of an atheist, but he also joins the coach on the field because he regards it as a team-building and uplifting activity that he supports alongside his believing teammates.

Although this has been Kennedy’s practice since 2008, on Sept. 17, 2015, the school district informed him that it had become aware of his prayers and ordered him to stop. “Each activity has been voluntary,” Superintendent Aaron Leavell admitted in his letter, but nonetheless claimed the activity is in violation of the school district’s policy.

There is good news amid the waterfall of tyrannical idiocy in this story, though – Kennedy has hooked up with the Liberty Institute, a law firm devoted to pro bono representation of cases like these, and he’s fighting the school district. On Oct. 16, he took to the field after the end of the game and kneeled down to prayer, joined by students from the team and the stands, and was promptly suspended.

This story will continue for a while. Stay tuned.

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