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Court rules against coach who prayed with players

SEATTLE (August 23, 2017) — A Washington state high school football coach took advantage of his position when he prayed on the field after games, and he’s not entitled to immediately get his job back, a federal appeals court said Wednesday.

The three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. District Court of Appeals unanimously held that Bremerton High coach Joe Kennedy’s prayers did not constitute protected free speech because he was acting as a public employee, not a private citizen, when he conducted them.

“By kneeling and praying on the fifty-yard line immediately after games while in view of students and parents, Kennedy was sending a message about what he values as a coach, what the District considers appropriate behavior, and what students should believe, or how they ought to behave,” Judge Milan Smith wrote for the court.

Source: Court rules against coach who prayed with players