UNITED STATES NEWS

A football coach who got job back after Supreme Court ruled he could pray on the field has resigned

Sep 6, 2023, 12:34 PM | Updated: 12:50 pm

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — A high school football coach in Washington state who won his job back after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled he could pray on the field resigned Wednesday after just one game back.

Assistant Bremerton High School coach Joe Kennedy made the announcement on his website, citing several reasons, including that he needed to care for an ailing family member out of state. He had been living full-time in Florida before the football season started last Friday.

“I believe I can best continue to advocate for constitutional freedom and religious liberty by working from outside the school system so that is what I will do,” Kennedy wrote. “I will continue to work to help people understand and embrace the historic ruling at the heart of our case.”

In a statement, the Bremerton School District confirmed Kennedy had submitted his resignation. School officials declined to comment on his exit, saying they would not issue any further statements, as the resignation is a personnel matter.

Kennedy had lost his job during a controversy over his public post-game prayers. He was back on the field Friday after the U.S. Supreme Court held his practice was protected by the Constitution.

Kennedy strode alone to midfield, knelt and prayed for about 10 seconds after his Bremerton High School football team beat visiting Mount Douglas Secondary School 27-12 Friday night.

Kennedy had fought to be rehired for seven years but seemed more anxious than triumphant about his return.

It was his first game as coach since 2015, when he was placed on leave after warnings from the school district, which eventually declined to renew his contract.

The district had asked Kennedy to keep any on-field praying non-demonstrative or apart from students, saying they were concerned that tolerating his public post-game prayers would suggest government endorsement of religion, in violation of the separation of church and state.

Kennedy’s fight to get his job back quickly became a cultural touchstone, pitting the religious liberties of government employees against longstanding principles protecting students from religious coercion.

He lost at every court level until the merits of his case reached the U.S. Supreme Court last year. The conservative majority sided with him, with Justice Neil Gorsuch writing “the best of our traditions counsel mutual respect and tolerance, not censorship and suppression, for religious and nonreligious views alike.”

United States News

Associated Press

Three little piggies at a yoga class = maximum happiness

SPENCER, Mass. (AP) — Three little piggies went to a yoga class. Their human companions had a blast. Wilbur, Charlotte and Bluey fit right into a growing trend of yoga with animals, adding some fun to the usual physical and mental wellness exercises at a class in central Massachusetts. Darting and strolling among the yoginis […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Remember last year’s Memorial Day travel jams? Chances are they will be much worse this year

You didn’t think summer travel would be easy, did you? Highways and airports are likely to be jammed the next few days as Americans head out for Memorial Day weekend getaways and then return home. AAA predicts this will be the busiest start-of-summer weekend in nearly 20 years, with 43.8 million people expected to travel […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

5 dead and nearly 3 dozen hurt in tornadoes that tore through Iowa, officials say

GREENFIELD, Iowa (AP) — A deadly tornado that wreaked havoc in the small city of Greenfield, Iowa, left four people dead and nearly three dozen injured, officials said, while a fifth person was killed elsewhere. The twister that tore through the city on Tuesday was rated at least an EF-3 by the National Weather Service […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Thousands of journalists have fled homelands due to repression, threats and conflict, UN expert says

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Thousands of journalists have fled their home countries in recent years to escape political repression, save their lives and escape conflict – but in exile they are often vulnerable to physical, digital and legal threats, a U.N. investigator said Wednesday. Irene Khan said in a report to the U.N. General Assembly […]

8 hours ago

Javier Cazares, center, stands with families of the victims in the Uvalde elementary school shootin...

Associated Press

Families of Uvalde school shooting victims file $500 million federal lawsuit against Texas state police

The families of the victims in the Uvalde school shooting in Texas filed a $500 million federal lawsuit against 92 state police officers.

10 hours ago

Javier Cazares, center, stands with families of the victims in the Uvalde elementary school shootin...

Sponsored Content by

The families of the victims in the Uvalde school shooting in Texas filed a $500 million federal lawsuit against 92 state police officers.

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

A football coach who got job back after Supreme Court ruled he could pray on the field has resigned