High school coach who was fired for praying with players wins $1.7 million settlement

Former high school football coach Joseph Kennedy has secured a $1.7 million settlement from the Bremerton School District in Washington State after being fired for praying with players. Kennedy’s legal battle, spanning eight years, concluded with this resolution. The U.S. Supreme Court previously upheld Kennedy’s right to pray with students as protected by the First Amendment.

The U.S. Supreme Court sided with Kennedy last June and said his prayers were protected by the First Amendment.

The Supreme Court’s June ruling, with a 6-3 majority, recognized his constitutional right to lead post-game prayers. Kennedy, who started praying at the 50-yard line in 2008, will also resume his role as an assistant coach at Bremerton High School in 2023.

Kennedy will also get his job back for the 2023 season.

Kennedy’s lawsuit, supported by the First Liberty Institute, challenged the district’s actions after he was suspended in 2015 for continuing the prayers. The settlement enables Kennedy to focus on coaching, putting this long-standing dispute to rest.

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