BREMERTON, Wash. — A school district in Washington has placed a Christian football coach on paid leave for continuing to pray on the 50-yard line at the conclusion of the game, which he did last Friday when both teams and members of the community joined him in a show of support, Christian News Network reports.
The Bremerton School District released a four-page letter on Wednesday night explaining its reasons for placing Joe Kennedy, the assistant head coach for the varsity team at Bremerton High School and the head coach for the junior varsity team, on leave.
“Kennedy’s conduct poses a genuine risk that the district will be liable for violating the federal and state constitutional rights of students or others,” the letter stated. “For this reason, Kennedy will not be allowed to further violate the district’s directives.”
It said that Kennedy will not be allowed to serve as coach until he stops praying on the field. The district had presented Kennedy with the option of praying inside of the stadium in a place whether none other would see him, but he declined.
“He remains employed by the district, and will be paid as such throughout the remainder of his contract term, unless his employment status is changed in the future,” the letter stated. “However, unless and until he affirms his intention to comply with the district’s directives, he will not participate, in any capacity, in BHS football program activities.”