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Supreme Court rules for public school coach who kneeled and prayed on field

June 28, 2022


The Supreme Court decided that a public school football coach who led prayers after games had the right to do so. For proponents, the case represented a step forward in the free expression rights of public employees. Detractors see the case as a part of a long-running erosion of the separation of church and state. For a text version of the story, click here.

Five Facts

  • What is Joseph Kennedy’s role in the case?
  • Where did he hold prayers? Does the image below at 0:50 look like a “private religious act?”
  • Why is it important that Bremerton High School is a public school?
  • How will the decision impact the place of religion in public schools?
  • Who are the justices who supported striking down the gun law? What kind of belief do they hold? (It does not say in the video, so take a look at the linked story.)

Focus Questions

If your coach or teacher held prayer in class or on the field everyday and many of your peers often participated, would you feel pressured to join in? If you go to a public school, would you find your teacher or coach doing this to be threatening to the separation of church and state? Why or why not?

Media Literacy: Joseph Kennedy is centered in the AP video. How do you feel about this? Could the AP have included more perspectives or explored the broader consequences of the ruling differently?

For More

Leo Kamin, a rising sophomore at Amherst College and intern at NewsHour Classroom, wrote today’s Daily News Lesson with editing by Victoria Pasquantonio.

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