Supreme Court To Hear Case Of Coach Who Lost His Job Over Postgame Prayers

In response, Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain said the panel opinion had gotten things backward. “It is axiomatic that teachers do not ‘shed’ their First Amendment protections ‘at the schoolhouse gate,’” he wrote, quoting a 1969 Supreme Court decision. “Yet the opinion in this case obliterates such constitutional protections by announcing a new rule that any speech by a public-school teacher or coach, while on the clock and in earshot of others, is subject to plenary control by the government.”

Rachel Laser, the president of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which represents the school board, urged the justices to consider the interests of students when it hears the case, Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, No. 21-418.

“No child attending public school should have to pray to play school sports,” Ms. Laser said in a statement. “No student should ever be made to feel excluded — whether it’s in the classroom or on the football field — because they don’t share the religious beliefs of their coaches, teachers or fellow students.”

Kelly Shackelford, the president of First Liberty Institute, which represents Mr. Kennedy, said in a statement that “no teacher or coach should lose their job for simply expressing their faith while in public.”

“By taking this important case,” he said, “the Supreme Court can protect the right of every American to engage in private religious expression, including praying in public, without fear of punishment.”

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Supreme Court to hear case of high school football coach fired for praying on field


Supreme Court to hear case of high school football coach fired for praying on field