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

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The Bremerton School District in Washington unanimously approved a $1.775 million settlement for former football coach Joseph
Kennedy after he was fired for praying on the field. Kennedy is now permitted to return as an assistant coach in 2023 and will receive a stipend.

The Supreme Court had previously ruled 6-3 that Kennedy had a constitutional right to kneel and pray with students after games.

He began the on-field prayers in 2008 which students gradually joined, and also gave inspirational locker room speeches.

In 2015, concerns were raised some felt pressured to participate, but he continued praying alone after games and was not rehired as a result.

The district hopes the settlement ends the nearly eight-year legal battle so it can focus on students’ education.

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