The coach of a Washington state high school football team who prayed at games despite orders from the school district to stop was placed on paid administrative leave the same day a group of self-described Satanists said it planned to attend a Thursday game to protest the practice.
Joe Kennedy, Bremerton High School’s assistant football coach, was put on leave because he refused to comply with district directives to avoid overt religious displays on the field, Bremerton School District officials said in a statement late Wednesday.
Kennedy has vocally prayed before and after games, sometimes joined by students, since 2008. But the practice recently came to the district’s attention, and it asked him to stop.
He initially agreed, but then, with support from the Texas-based Liberty Institute, a religious-freedom organization, he resumed the postgame prayers, silently taking a knee for 15 to 20 seconds at midfield after shaking hands with the opposing coaches. His lawyers insist he is not leading students in prayer, just praying himself.
The debate at the school across Puget Sound west of Seattle has focused attention on the role of religion in public schools. Dozens of lawmakers in the Congressional Prayer Caucus sent a letter this week to the superintendent expressing support for the coach.
Read the Full Article: Source – Komon News
Time For Truth: (Komo News) – Praying Bremerton coach on leave, deepening religion debate