In May, The Root reported that Kansas state Rep. Mark Samsel (R) was arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery after school officials in Wellsville, Kan., reported that while working as a substitute teacher in the Wellsville School District, he allegedly kneed a high school student in the groin. In fact, he’s actually facing three misdemeanor battery charges related to the alleged abuse of two students.
Video footage viewed by law enforcement reportedly showed that he pushed the unnamed student he’s accused of kneeing in the crotch area and encouraged other students to assault him. He was also caught on camera asking students if they “like making babies” and how often they masturbate.
Well, the charges against Samsel are still pending, but on Tuesday, he officially turned in his teaching license, according to the Associated Press. Of course, the next day, he did what many people who refuse to hold themselves accountable for shit tend to do. He blamed it on mental health issues.
Republican state Rep. Mark Samsel disclosed in a Facebook post that he has seen mental health professionals over the past three months. He also wrote that he is studying ways to handle stress so that “there is no likelihood” an episode will occur again. He surrendered his teaching license Tuesday.
He faces three misdemeanor criminal charges of battery following what the local prosecutor described as “rude, insulting or angry” interactions with two students, ages 15 or 16, during an April 28 art class at the high school in his hometown of Wellsville, about 45 miles (72 kilometers) southwest of Kansas City. One student told a sheriff’s deputy that Samsel had manhandled him and kicked him, according to an affidavit from the deputy.
Samsel, a 36-year-old attorney who has served in the House since 2019, has pleaded not guilty to the charges, each of which is punishable by up to six months in jail. He has a court hearing scheduled for Aug. 16 and said during a brief interview that he does not know how the surrender of his teaching license or his mental health treatment will affect the case.
“It just felt it was the right time to share, that God was calling on me to do it,” Samsel said. “I just hope this brings light to the mental health battles, that a lot of us are struggling.”
Mind you, this is a complete departure from how he explained away his behavior earlier this year. In fact, the only thing the two explanations have in common is, in both, he claimed to be trying to raise awareness about “mental health battles.”
Of course, last time the mental health he was referring to was that of teenagers he’s afraid might commit suicide because their parents are same-sex couples. (Did I mention this fool is not only allegedly abusive and inappropriate around teens, but he’s also a religious nutcase?)
“It was all planned,” he wrote in a Snapchat post in May. “Every little bit of it. That’s right. The kids and I planned ALL this to SEND A MESSAGE about art, mental health, teenage suicide, how we treat our educators and one another. To who? Parents. And grandparents. And all of Wellsville.”
In an interview, he also claimed “Nobody was ever in danger,” and there was “no altercation,” while acknowledging that some students may have “perceived it as one.”
“Did we make it look like we were in anger or outrageous or hurting kids? Yeah, we did,” he said.
According to AP, Republican Kansas House Speaker Ron Ryckman Jr. threw a cape on for Samsel, claiming his story shows the importance of mental health services.
Let’s just think about that for a moment.
Are people like Ryckman ready to allow any person who has proven themselves to be a danger around children to play the mental health card? If not, he really needs to acknowledge that the need for mental health services isn’t the takeaway here. The issue at hand is certain people need to be kept far the fuck away from children and teenagers.
Also, Samsel is a lawmaker, guys. This evil Mr. Rogers variant is someone the people of Kansas are to trust is using good judgment in deciding what legislation is worth supporting.
A YOUTH ADVISORY COUNCIL!
I just want to knee this man in the groin so bad.