Student Well-Being News in Brief

H.S. Coach Placed on Leave For Leading Prayers on Field

By Bryan Toporek — November 10, 2015 1 min read

The Bremerton, Wash., school district has placed an assistant football coach on paid administrative leave for leading prayers with students on the field following games.

In September, the district learned that Joe Kennedy, the assistant coach for Bremerton High School, was leading prayers with students on school property. Superintendent Aaron Leavell intervened, allowing Kennedy to continue on in his role as assistant football coach so long as he stopped leading prayers with students.

Despite repeated warnings from the district, however, Kennedy continued to conduct postgame prayers. That spurred the district to place him on paid administrative leave. In a statement, the district said it has offered Kennedy a “private location to use for prayer that does not interfere with his performance of his duties,” but Kennedy has yet to accept the district’s offer.

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A version of this article appeared in the November 11, 2015 edition of Education Week as H.S. Coach Placed on Leave For Leading Prayers on Field

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