Joe Kennedy, the Washington state high school football coach who was suspended for praying at games, has filed a discrimination complaint.
Kennedy, who is currently on paid leave from the Bremerton School District, filed the complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Tuesday claiming he suffered workplace retaliation for exercising his right to express his religion.
Kennedy claims among other things that the district did not punish the team’s offensive coordinator for similarly performing postgame Buddhist chants, his lawyers from the Liberty Institute in Plano, Texas, said.
The EEOC complaint names Bremerton superintendent, Aaron Leavell, as the person committing the wrong doing.
“BSD violated my rights to free exercise of religion and free speech by prohibiting my private religious expression and taking adverse employment action against me on the basis of my religion, notwithstanding my request for a reasonable accommodation that would allow me to practice my sincerely held religious beliefs,” Kennedy wrote.
“Moreover, BSD does not uniformly or consistently enforce its discriminatory policy,” he continued. “I have observed other BSD employees engage in visible religious expression without adverse consequences.”
Kennedy prayed before and after games, sometimes joined by students, since 2008. But the school district asked him to stop this year.