Back in May, we learned that Kansas State Rep. Mark Samsel, a conservative Christian Republican, kicked a student in the balls while working as a substitute teacher, according to an affidavit filed by the student.
Samsel (below) has now — finally — given up his substitute teaching license and says he’s getting mental health treatment.
You may recall that Samsel was arrested and sent to jail in May after he allegedly assaulted the child in a classroom. The assault occurred after Samsel was recorded telling students that there was a sophomore who attempted suicide because “he has two parents and they’re both females,” that God knows when you masturbate, that students must follow “God’s rules,” and that those who didn’t obey God would “see how it’s going to turn out.”
Days after his arrest, Samsel released a batshit crazy statement refusing to accept any responsibility for his actions. In it, he argued that “if you think MY behavior in the classroom on Wednesday was inappropriate or even criminal, how about we compare it to YOUR behavior at any given PUBLIC SCHOOL (or private or home school) sporting event?” He also said “Did I intend to hurt a soul or act for a single moment out of rage, animosity, or any other element of battery? Absolutely not.”
That was a lie, based on the student’s testimony.
The deputy’s affidavit, released to reporters Tuesday, said the boy showed him a golf ball-sized “road rash” and a 3-to-4 inch scratch on his back that he said appeared after Republican state Rep. Mark Samsel, of Wellsville, pushed him up against a classroom wall on April 28.
The boy told the deputy that after Samsel pushed him against the wall and kicked him, “his back and testicles were in pain” for approximately 15 minutes, the affidavit said.
The sheriff’s deputy said in the document that he asked the lawmaker why he had put his hands on the boy, and Samsel pointed to the ceiling. When the deputy asked Samsel whether God told him to do so, Samsel answered, “Twice.”
So… God told Samsel to kick the child in the testicles. That was seriously his defense. That man STILL REMAINS an elected official. You are not. (Please go run for something.)
If there’s any silver lining to all this, it’s that Samsel is now admitting (in a private Facebook post) he’s been getting mental health treatment:
Kansas Rep. Mark Samsel says he is receiving mental health treatment and is giving up his substitute teaching license after “extreme stress, pressure and agitation” prompted an “isolated episode of mania with psychotic features” in April.
After multiple visits with mental health professionals over the past three months and studying ways to handle stress, Samsel said, “there is no likelihood that it will happen again.”
In his Facebook post he said he hoped his openness would bring understanding to those who struggle with mental health.
I’m not sure how to process that. While I have sympathy for anyone getting help for their mental illness, I just don’t trust elected Republicans enough in these kinds of situations. If Samsel is struggling with an illness that’s bad enough that it led to three misdemeanor battery charges involving child victims, then he should resign and focus on himself.
But the Republican playbook has always been to mildly condemn their colleagues’ worst actions while doing everything they can to keep that seat in their control. Samsel is a reliable conservative vote. There’s nothing he could do — and no one he couldn’t assault — to make his party possibly give up an inch of power. Remember: Republicans in Kansas need his vote to override the Democratic governor’s vetoes of their awful bills.
(Thanks to Mark for the link. Large portions of this article were published earlier)