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Supreme Court to hear case of coach fired for praying — Analysis

The US Supreme Courtroom has accepted the liberty of faith case after having beforehand turned it down

A Seattle highschool soccer coach who was fired for refusing to cease praying on the finish of video games has taken the matter to the Supreme Courtroom.

Joe Kennedy, who labored as a coach for Seattle’s Bremerton Excessive Faculty, was dismissed from his job and sued by the college after he refused to cease his post-game ritual, which included a 15-second prayer whereas kneeling on the soccer pitch.

In a 2015 grievance, the Bremerton Faculty District referred to as the “overtly spiritual references” in Kennedy’s prayers and inspirational speeches “problematic” and demanded that the coach as a substitute deal with “acceptable themes corresponding to unity, teamwork, duty, [and] security.”

“Your talks with college students could not embrace spiritual expression, together with prayer. They need to stay totally secular in nature, in order to keep away from alienation of any crew member,” the district dominated.

Kennedy was suspended and later fired from his place for refusing to toe the road and an enchantment to the Supreme Courtroom in 2019 was rejected. On Friday, nonetheless, the Supreme Courtroom introduced that it will lastly be accepting the case.

Kelly Shackelford, whose First Liberty Establishment is representing Kennedy, mentioned in a press release that “no trainer or coach ought to lose their job for merely expressing their religion whereas in public.”

“By taking this essential case, the Supreme Courtroom can defend the fitting of each American to have interaction in personal spiritual expression, together with praying in public, with out concern of punishment,” she declared.

Individuals United for Separation of Church and State head Rachel Laser, nonetheless, argued that “impressionable college students” had felt “pressured by their coach to take part repeatedly in public prayer” and mentioned the college district was inside its rights to fireplace Kennedy over the matter.

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