Sign to support students & church-state separation at the U.S. Supreme Court

We are deeply concerned that the U.S. Supreme Court may issue a ruling in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District that undermines the fundamental principle of church-state separation, which protects religious freedom for all of us. 

In Kennedy v. Bremerton, a coach violated the religious freedom of students by pressuring them to join his public prayers at the 50-yard line at public high school football games. The Bremerton School District did the right thing to protect students’ rights by stopping the coach’s public prayer. No student attending a public school should feel they have to pray to play in school sports.

To be clear, students have the right to engage in student-led voluntary prayer in public schools—and they do so every day. But that’s not what happened here: Some students felt coerced to join the coach’s public prayers. No student should ever be made to feel excluded—whether it’s in the classroom or on the football field—because they don’t share the religious beliefs of their coaches, teachers or fellow students. Public schools should be open, welcoming, inclusive environments for all students, regardless of faith or belief.

We’re on very dangerous ground if the Supreme Court is considering overturning decades of established law that prevents government employees from pressuring students to pray in public schools. It would be a radical departure from the accepted standard supported by both liberal and conservative Justices for decades. That’s what makes this case so critical—a loss would dangerously erode a core principle of our democracy. Separation of church and state protects everyone’s freedoms, whether someone is religious or not. 

The facts of the case, the laws of our country, and the overwhelming majority of religious and nonreligious Americans alike are on the side of protecting students’ religious freedom. That is why we support the Bremerton School District in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the religious freedom of all students, and uphold the Constitutional separation of church and state.

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