Suspension of Praying Coach Leads to Split over Religion at School
Veronica NeffingerReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2015 Oct 30
A Washington state high school football coach says he will continue to pray, even though he has been put on administrative leave for praying during games.
ABC News reports that Joe Kennedy, Bremerton High School’s assistant football coach, has been under fire for his public displays of faith.
Kennedy had prayed before and after football games since 2008. He would kneel down midfield to pray for 15 or 20 seconds.
The school district recently put Kennedy on administrative leave after his actions were brought to their attention.
Kennedy has still been attending every Bremerton football game, albeit from the opposite side of the fence, as a fan. He said it is difficult for him not to be in the locker room and on the field with his players.
Kennedy hugged players over the fence at Thursday's game and prayed with a group of people in front of the bleachers.
He says hopefully his commitment to fight to keep prayer in the school will show his players that “if you believe in something you stand up.”
Many disagree with Kennedy.
Bremerton’s senior class president Abe Bartlett said the school should either allow any and all religious displays, or allow none. To prove this point, Bartlett said he was one of a group of people who invited self-described Satanists to Thursday’s game.
Kennedy’s lawyers claim he is not leading students in prayer, but displaying his own faith.
Lawmakers in the Congressional Prayer Caucus have sent a letter to Kennedy expressing their support, and many people have posted on social media in support of Kennedy.
Photo courtesy: Wikipedia
Publication date: October 30, 2015