By Maura Dolan
A Christian football coach suspended for kneeling and praying on the 50-yard line after high school games lost a bid Wednesday to be reinstated and allowed to worship in front of students.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said that Bremerton, Wash., High School football coach Joseph A. Kennedy was serving as a public employee when he prayed in front of students and parents immediately after games, and the school had the right to discipline him.
The Bremerton School District, located in Kitsap County across Puget Sound from Seattle, serves about 5,057 religiously diverse students, the court said.
Kennedy, an assistant football coach there from 2008 to 2015, led students and coaching staff in locker-room prayers before and after most games and also prayed on the 50-yard line after games.
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