A Republican Kansas State Representative, who was arrested for a possible misdemeanor battery involving a high school student, claimed the incident was staged in a bizarre apology video.
GOP Representative Mark Samsel of Wellsville was working as a substitute teacher at a secular public secondary school in the Wellsville School District when a number of students filmed him chastising and manhandling a student. Throughout the day high school students filmed videos of the lawmaker talking about suicide, sex, masturbation, God and the Bible.
Samsel was also heard using the f-bomb.
This story is 100 million times more insane than the headline suggests. https://t.co/M21AZRTmR9— Ben Collins (@Ben Collins)1619883336.0
In one of the videos filmed by students, Samsel threw a male student against the wall and told him, "I could put the wrath of God on you right now," before the student managed to break free.
In another video obtained and shared by The Kansas City Star, Samsel encouraged a student to assault another student by saying, "you have permission to kick him in the balls."
You can see one of the videos here.
WARNING: graphic content
At another point Samsel told the class about a supposed sophomore at the school he claimed had attempted suicide three times because:
"...he has two parents and they're both female."
"He's a foster kid. His alternatives in life were having no parents or foster care parents who are gay."
"How do you think I'm going to feel if he commits suicide? Awful...
In another video, Samsel told students:
"Who likes making babies? That feels good, doesn't it? Procreate..."
"You haven't masturbated? Don't answer that question....God already knows."
The 36-year-old lawmaker and part-time substitute teacher asked a male student:
"You got your crap done?"
"What's much more important - what you want or what God wants you to do?"
Samsel—who represents Kansas House District 5, which includes Wellsville—was booked into the Franklin County Adult Detention Center and later released on a $1,000 bond, according to Sheriff Jeff Richards.
On Thursday, Superintendent Ryan Bradbury issued a letter to parents with few details.
"At this time, we are prevented from commenting further on this situation."
"This is not due to a lack of transparency but due to privacy laws that prevent us from doing so."
But he assured parents the substitute teacher involved in the incident would no longer be allowed to work in the district.
What the hell is going on with the #KSLeg this session? He shouldn’t just be terminated from substituting. He shoul… https://t.co/WDqNIz86hy— Mayor Q (@Mayor Q)1619814809.0
The Superintendent's statement on Saturday prompted Samsel to defend himself on KSNT-TV the next morning. He denied the battery allegations and the claims of rambling to students about Christianity, homosexuality, the U.S. Capitol riot and mental health.
Samsel claimed the whole incident was staged as a lesson for parents. The purpose or message of the alleged lesson wasn't immediately made clear.
You can watch video of Samsel's apology here:
Many deemed the apology as "incoherent" as Samsel's classroom meltdown.
One Wellsville parent told KCTV5 of a Snapchat post from Samsel in which he said everything was "all planned" and he wanted to:
"SEND A MESSAGE about art, mental health, teenage suicide, how we treat our educators and one another.
"To who? Parents."
"Very simple—EXACTLY what God planned."
"The kids were in on it."
The Kansas GOP state legislator/teacher who told his class they could kick a student in the balls and then blabber… https://t.co/i0vNetOXOQ— Bill Grueskin (@Bill Grueskin)1619988145.0
@oneunderscore__ “sex, masturbation, God and the Bible” just about sums up the Republican platform these days.— 🌊🤲🧼Christopher 😷🌹 (@🌊🤲🧼Christopher 😷🌹)1619884134.0
Samsel continued explaining himself in a disjointed post on Facebook that was over 1,000 words long.
He wrote, in part:
"I am truly sorry that this has caused confusion and pain, especially in my native hometown."
"But this is not about me. It never has been."
"If it were up to me, I'd be sitting on a beach in Australia or exploring the jungles in Africa."
He continued exploring his travel options.
"Maybe the beach in San Diego, or Portland or Madison remain on my bucket list of places to travel. Of course, I'm pretty blue collar, so Melvern Lake or a Royals game is more my style."
"But my FAMILY has been in Kansas by choice and pro-life (iron-ic, huh?) since 1869."
"I'm not quite that old, but they must have some pretty good character and roots, because they voluntarily left amazing places like Indiana and Pennsylvania to come here, Kansas, a FREE STATE."
"I can't do anything about the haters. Nope, that's beyond me."
"But I do listen to T-Swift. I shake it off.
"Always will. God has me exactly where He NEEDS me."
"And that scares folks and confuses 'em. Some of them anyway."
People thought Samsel should stop digging.
@KeithOlbermann This guy has some serious issues.— Morey Christopherson (@Morey Christopherson)1619896361.0
The nonsequiturs in Samsel's Facebook message kept coming.
"The 10 Commandments."
"I pray that Kansas and America returns to a NEW NORMAL where the laws WE mere mortals write are consistent with the teachings of Jesus."
"And that we all do our best to respect one another."
@shanedkavanaugh Dont forget he talks to god to get the orders for this behavior— G Lee Roberts (@G Lee Roberts)1619915597.0
Samsel then pointed to a few people who "figured it out."
"We follow and obey the manmade laws that sit well with our own morals and religious beliefs, and when not, we firmly yet gracefully protest publicly—quietly at first, then loudly if necessary—in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr."
"Justin Bieber figured it out. And Katy Perry. And Blake Shelton. And Patrick Mahomes."
@oneunderscore__ Each sentence is more jaw dropping than the next... https://t.co/s3jOYNwk5m— TrumpsTaxes (@TrumpsTaxes)1619887658.0
Apparently Samsel felt he had figured it out too.
"And what politician.....it's hard to find one isn't it, and yet we keep voting for these folks who do the same things over and over like SHEEP."
"For their special interests, political parties, and wealthy donors."
"Do we really wonder why America is hurting so badly right now?"
"I don't. It's not rocket science."
@shannonrwatts This guy is psychotic in the DSM sense. Manic Bipolar I or schizophrenia both need to be ruled out.… https://t.co/NLVASil66E— J’Dub (@J’Dub)1619963620.0
He expressed Wednesday's incident was "unorthodox" but did not intend to cause harm because he "honest to God love[s] all children."
"I'm not trying to sound preachy. But how else do you tell the truth and speak about the Bible?"
"I don't know. I'm doing my best folks, and I am genuinely sorry for any pain or confusion this may cause anyone."
"But I will put my hand on the Bible right now and swear that I didn't do anything wrong."
"Those kids are the LAST people on the planet I would ever do anything to intentionally hurt. I've known most of them for years, some for over a decade."
He added the children were the ones being hurt by news coverage of his behavior because they care about him "deeply."
"I know several kids who care about me deeply and because of the nasty and false/misleading things written by the KC Star and others here on social media, THEY are hurting."
@KeithOlbermann This guy should never be around children again, EVER.— Liz Bat 🦓🏳️🌈🌊🦡 *******💧 (@Liz Bat 🦓🏳️🌈🌊🦡 *******💧)1619902284.0
@shannonrwatts This is psychotic behavior. He should be in jail for a long time. He shouldn't be allowed around oth… https://t.co/dq4gRPn6dM— Proudly & Unapologetically Black (@Proudly & Unapologetically Black)1619920761.0
@shannonrwatts The sickness within the GQP is all coming out, they feel they don't have to hide in the shadows anym… https://t.co/3f1IGHNVI8— Henry Delgado - 🇺🇸 ☕️ (@Henry Delgado - 🇺🇸 ☕️)1619963199.0
Kansas state House Republican leadership issued a joint statement saying they were aware of the incident involving Samsel and were in the process of gathering more information.
County Attorney Brandon Jones said the lawmaker is scheduled to make his first appearance in district court in Franklin County on May 19.