Kansas GOP lawmaker arrested for battery after incident with high school student

Rep. Mark Samsel was released on $1,000 bond and is set to appear in district court later this month

Kansas Rep. Mark Samsel was arrested for battery after video footage of an altercation with a student alarmed parents. Samsel was working as a substitute teacher at the time.

Multiple videos, recorded by students, showed Samsel discussing suicide, sex, masturbation, God, and the Bible. One of the videos, obtained by The Kansas City Star, allegedly captured the moment directly after Samsel “put hands on the student” and kneed him in the crotch. 

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The newspaper described, “both Samsel and the student [pacing] around the classroom, talking back and forth. Samsel is shown following the student around and grabbing him. In one video, he puts his arms around the student and says that he was being hard on him.”

According to The Star, Samsel was arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery on Thursday. The 36-year-old was booked into the Franklin County Adult Detention Center and has since been released on $1,000 bond, according to Sheriff Jeff Richards. Superintendent Ryan Bradbury said the lawmaker will no longer work for the district.

Mark Samsel www.theGrio.com
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“You’re about ready to anger me and get the wrath of God. Do you believe me when I tell you that God has been speaking to me?” he said to the student according to the video footage obtained by The Star. Samsel then told the student “you should run and scream,” after pushing him.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas shared the news story and said Samsel “shouldn’t just be terminated from substituting. He should be blocked from being around all kids.”

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During an interview with KSNT, Samsel said the incident was premeditated and the students were in on it. The lawmaker claimed the entire ordeal was a part of the lesson plan.

“Nobody was ever in danger,” he said. “Did we make it look like we were in anger, or outrageous or hurting kids? Yeah, we did.”

He kept the same story during a text message correspondence with The Washington Post. Samsel sent the outlet a message, and said it was “disgusting, and false to suggest that I would EVER do anything to hurt or make a kid uncomfortable.”

The alleged kneeing incident is one of a handful of questionable acts Samsel participated in during his day on duty at the school. According to The Star, in one video, he told students the story of a student who “tried killing himself three times,” because “he has two parents and they’re both females.”

Samsel was also recorded telling students “Who likes making babies? That feels good, doesn’t it? Procreate … You haven’t masturbated? Don’t answer that question. … God already knows.”

House Speaker Ron Ryckman informed The Star that “we’re not yet aware of the details and in the process of gathering as much information as we can.”

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