High school football coach in Bremer, Washington who lost his job because he knelt to pray on the field after each game. Some parents claimed their sons felt pressured to join him. But in a 6-3 ruling, the Court said the local school board violated coach Joseph Kennedy’s First Amendment rights. The opinion said the board had “a mistaken view that it had a duty to ferret out and suppress religious observances even as it allows comparable secular speech.”
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco had twice ruled against Kennedy. The SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission joined three amicus briefs in support of Kennedy during the proceedings.
“An individual employed by a school does not forfeit his or her constitutional right to free expression simply by entering ‘the schoolhouse gate’ or, as it were in this case, the field of play,” ERLC said after the victory.