Earlier this week, I post about Bremerton High School (WA) assistant football coach Joe Kennedy, who was leading his team in prayer after games:
The District, after receiving a lot of media attention over this, promised to investigate the matter and how staff members were trained regarding the issue of prayer.
That investigation is now over. No one’s getting fired. But everyone’s on notice:
Kennedy, the assistant varsity coach and head coach for junior varsity, will keep his job, Superintendent Aaron Leavell said in a written statement. But neither Kennedy nor any other staff member interacting with students may engage in religious expression, including prayer, Leavell said.
What’s really interesting is how shocked Kennedy is to learn that he really was breaking the law. It wasn’t a case of Christian Persecution by liberals after all.
Outside the school board’s Thursday meeting, Kennedy said he had been unaware of case law that makes such activity a violation of the separation of church and state. Now he knows differently.
“If a kid is praying, I can’t even bow my head or take a knee. It could be misconstrued,” Kennedy said. “We can’t participate in any way, shape or form in prayer.”
He also acknowledged that overriding the edict could jeopardize the school district, and yet he’s wrestling over what he will do at Friday night’s home game.
One thing is for certain: “I am going to be on the 50-yard line.”
I don’t mind the lack of punishment here. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he’s just one of those ignorant conservatives who doesn’t understand how the First Amendment works.
He knows the rules now. And if he forgets that he’s a coach because he’s too busy acting like a pastor, then he won’t get to work with these kids anymore. Hopefully, that potential loss is enough to force him to do the right thing.
Like I said before, Kennedy doesn’t need to lead the prayers. The students can do it on their own. From what I hear, God doesn’t need an adult to translate the prayers of teenagers.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)