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A high school football coach named Joe Kennedy says he was fired for refusing to stop praying on the field.
Kennedy, who is a devout Christian, received good news as the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear the case.
Kennedy quickly became known for giving motivational speeches to players that frequently included religious content and prayer.
During a game in 2015, Kennedy knelt on the 50-yard line and offered a prayer, surrounded by other coaches, players, and even spectators who came onto the field.
One week later, he was suddenly placed on leave. The Bremerton School District, which is located in Bremerton, Washington, refused to re-hire him for the following season.
Kennedy filed a lawsuit, which requested the court to have the school district re-hire him immediately.
So far, lower courts have ruled in favor of the school district, claiming that Kennedy was not entitled to get his job back.
More from Western Journal:
Justice Samuel Alito wrote in a concurring opinion joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh that “the Ninth Circuit’s understanding of free speech rights of public school teachers is troubling and may justify review in the future.”
In 2020, U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Leighton ruled in favor of the school district’s motion for summary judgment and Kennedy’s lawyers appealed.
We are appealing to the Supreme Court!
The fight has been long, but we are hopeful the Supreme Court will right the wrongs. How long have you been following Coach Joe Kennedy's story?https://t.co/7FEd9x11OQ
— First Liberty Institute (@1stLiberty) July 21, 2021
On Friday, the Supreme Court announced it would hear the case, according to The Hill.
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Kennedy’s attorneys were pleased.
“No teacher or coach should lose their job for simply expressing their faith while in public,” said Kelly Shackelford, the head of First Liberty Institute, which is representing Kennedy, in a Friday statement after the nation’s highest court agreed to hear the case.
“By taking this important case, the Supreme Court can protect the right of every American to engage in private religious expression, including praying in public, without fear of punishment.”