Praying Football Coach Getting His Job Back

Coach Kennedy

( – A high school football coach sacked by his school district in 2015 for praying on the field after games will get his job back by mid-March 2023 under a new deal based on a US Supreme Court ruling in his favor.

Joseph Kennedy served 18 years in the US Marine Corps and worked as an assistant coach for the Bremerton High School (BHS) varsity football team in the Bremerton School District in Washington state’s Kitsap County.

He would pray at the 50-yard line after games, sometimes joined by some of his students. Eight years ago, Kennedy was put on leave but was never rehired.

After he sued for his job, and lower courts sided with the school district, in June, the US Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in his favor.

The justices said the United States Constitution protected Kennedy’s right to pray and that he had to be reinstated.

Even so, details about his rehiring remained to be clarified, and this week lawyers for the former marine and the Bremerton School District reached an agreement that he should be back at work as the assistant football coach by March 15, 2023.

In a joint filing with the US District Court for the Western District of Washington, the two parties notified Judge Robert S. Lasnik of their agreement, adding that he was entitled to receive “reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs,” Newsmax reported.

“Bremerton School District shall not interfere with or prohibit Kennedy from offering a prayer consistent with the US Supreme Court’s opinion,” the attorneys wrote in the filing detailing one of the points of contention remaining in the case,” the filing read.

“The parties disagree on the specific wording of this portion of the injunction,” the filing added, underscoring that more details needed to be hammered out before the coach could return.

After he got fired for praying, Joe Kennedy moved to Florida, but the move was temporary as he was hoping to win his case and be reinstated.

“I think March is inevitable,” said Jeremy Dys, one of Kennedy’s attorneys, regarding the rehiring deadline.

In Kennedy’s case, the Bremerton school district alleged that student participation in the assistant coach’s prayers violated the constitutional ban on government officials promoting religion.

Kennedy, whose prayers were usually less than one minute as they were “brief, private, individual acts of faith,” insisted his students were entitled to pray if they desired, a proposition ultimately supported by the US Supreme Court.

“This is a right for everybody. It doesn’t matter if you’re this religion or that religion or have no faith whatsoever. Everybody has the same rights in America,” Kennedy told ABC News earlier this year.