The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that a Washington school district violated the First Amendment rights of a high school football coach when he lost his job for praying on the field after games.
Joseph Kennedy, a football coach at Bremerton High school, had engaged in private prayer at the 50 yard line after games.
After a parent complained to the district that their son felt pressured to join the prayer despite being an atheist, the district asked Kennedy to stop. After telling the district he refused to comply, and being joined by a number of students and parents in the post game prayer, the district declined to rehire Kennedy upon a performance review.
“A government entity sought to punish an individual for engaging in a personal religious observance, based on a mistaken view that it has a duty to suppress religious observances even as it allows comparable secular speech,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in the majority opinion.
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