Bremerton High School assistant football coach Joe Kennedy, the guy who continued to pray on the field despite several warnings that he was violating the law, will not be on the sidelines at all next year since the District decided not to renew his contract.
Back in September, when Kennedy was told that he couldn’t lead prayers with his team, he quickly decided he wanted to be the next Kim Davis, acting as if his religious freedom was under attack. He threatened to pray on the field anyway, making a high school football game all about him. District officials told him to stop it. Kennedy threatened to sue. Even The Satanic Temple got involved by telling everyone that they had an on-field prayer ready to go if Kennedy went through with one of his own.
Kennedy was eventually put on paid leave.
And now that leave will be permanent.
… On Tuesday, Kennedy said the district has declined to renew his contract.
Coaches are hired at-will on a year-to-year basis. Kennedy said he was dismayed to be let go.
“That was a gut shot,” he said. “In the back of my mind, I thought that might happen, but with everything I’ve done with the kids for the past eight years, I figured they’d want to keep me there and we could work through all the rest.”
There’s nothing to work through, though. Kennedy made it very clear he cares more about public prayer than the kids. I guess according to the Bible God can’t hear you unless you turn a prayer into a giant spectacle.
Kennedy has also filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Given that Washington is an at-will state, and Kennedy was also in trouble for other reasons (like not supervising the athletes “due to his interactions with media”), it’ll be hard to make a case that this is all about anti-Christian discrimination. Kennedy received plenty of warnings. He was given the opportunity to come back to the team and didn’t take it. The only person breaking the law here is Kennedy.
If this guy can’t separate his faith from his coaching duties, he should get a job at a Christian school. He’s already shown he can’t be trusted to put the kids first at Bremerton.
(Thanks to Dean for the link)