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

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

He's been vindicated by the Supreme Court, copped a huge pay out, and has the green light to return to work.

A high school football coach who was sacked for praying with his student players has won a massive payout that is close to $2 million.

Former coach Joseph Kennedy will receive an eye-watering sum of $1,775,000 (£1,450,973, AUD$2,651,865), with the Bremerton School District in Washington state voting unanimously to approve the settlement payout.

They have also given Kennedy the green light to return as an assistant football coach for the 2023 season at Bremerton High School.

For his time working on the 2023 football season, Kennedy will also receive a stipend of $5,304 for the season, the district said in a statement.

School board president Alyson Rotter said: "We look forward to moving past the distraction of this nearly eight-year legal battle so that our school community can focus on what matters most: providing our children the best education possible."

The approved payout is the second round of good news for the coach after he was fired by the school.

In June, he copped his first dose of vindication when the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in his favor.

The court found his right to kneel with student athletes and pray on the field after games was protected by the Constitution.

Kennedy spoke to the Daily Mail after the verdict.

"It is just incredible to know that I did nothing wrong. Everything I did was fine," he said.

"I had a commitment with God that I'd give him thanks after every football game, win or lose."

He added: "And that's the way I started out."

Kennedy began his coaching career with Bremerton High School in 2008.

He started out praying alone, the Daily Mail reports, on the 50-yard line at the end of games.

Over time, students began to join him. He also began to deliver a short inspirational speech chock-full of religious references as well as leading students in locker room prayers.

Years passed on without issue until 2015 when the school board received complaints that some athletes felt pressured to join in.

So he stopped, but continued to pray on-field after the game

He was put on paid leave and then did not get rehired for the next season as he had failed to follow district policy.

Featured Image Credit: Newsmax. ABC News

Topics: US News, News