Fox News host suggests U.S. "should not have the government involved in education at all"

"Also maybe a great time in our country's history where we rethink whether or not we have public schools"

By Jon Skolnik

Published April 26, 2022 1:45PM (EDT)

Lisa Kennedy Montgomery speaks onstage at the L'Oréal Paris Women of Worth Celebration at The Pierre Hotel on December 5, 2018 in New York City. (Brian Ach/Getty Images forL'Oréal Paris)
Lisa Kennedy Montgomery speaks onstage at the L'Oréal Paris Women of Worth Celebration at The Pierre Hotel on December 5, 2018 in New York City. (Brian Ach/Getty Images forL'Oréal Paris)

Fox News host Lisa Kennedy said on Monday that U.S. lawmakers "should not have the government involved in education at all," suggesting that America should rid itself of the public school system entirely. 

Kennedy's remarks came during Monday's segment of "Outnumbered" in which Kennedy was facilitating a discussion around the Supreme Court's consideration of Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, a suit that arose when a Seattle-area high school football coach claimed he was fired for holding post-game prayers on the field. 

"This is not a case of the government compelling speech. A public sector school teacher forcing a classroom to engage in prayer," said Fox News host Kayleigh McEnany. "This is someone who is a government employee saying hey, I want to silently, free exercise my right to religious speech."

"This will be a very important case for religious liberty, but also maybe a great time in our country's history where we rethink whether or not we have public schools," Kennedy responded. "Maybe we should not have the government involved in education at all so parents and teachers and administrators can make those decisions themselves instead of having the government impose it on them because it is the public school aspect of this that is creating the legal challenge."

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Host Harris Faulkner, however, expressed a bit of doubt over the idea. "And what do we do with the people who can't afford private?" she asked. "Like, what does that look like? Because each state allots some money so they would get that money, I would assume."

"Yeah, you could have – we could entirely rethink – OK, I'll tell you why I say that," Kennedy rambled. "It's because the two most powerful teachers unions in the country are opposed to coach Kennedy. They are using their heft and their influence to make sure that he loses this case."


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On Monday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the case. Much of the discussion was centered on whether the former coach, Joe Kennedy, was praying in his capacity as a state employee or a private citizen. Kennedy has alleged that his rights were violated when the school's district prohibited from praying on the field with students and players. The school board has argued that Kennedy coerced his students into prayer, establishing grounds for termination. 

"He insisted on audible prayers at the 50-yard line with students," a lawyer for the Bremerton School District told The New York Times. "He announced in the press that those prayers are how he helps these kids be better people."

According to CNN, numerous conservatives justices have appeared to express sympathy for Kennedy's position.

"This wasn't 'Huddle up, team,'" Justice Brett Kavanaugh said during oral arguments.

The district reportedly did not reprimand Kennedy, who had privately prayed on the field earlier in his tenure, until students began joining in. 

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Jon Skolnik

Jon Skolnik is a staff writer at Salon. His work has appeared in Current Affairs, The Baffler, and The New York Daily News.

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Fox News Public Schools Right-wing War On Education Scotus Supreme Court