Lawmaker Arrested Over Bizarre Stint as School Sub

Kansas state Rep. Mark Samsel allegedly struck a student
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2021 8:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – A state lawmaker in Kansas faces battery charges following an encounter with a high school student while he was substitute teaching. Per the Kansas City Star, state Rep. Mark Samsel was arrested on charges of misdemeanor battery on Thursday, in part amid an outcry from Wellsville secondary school parents who viewed video students took of the lawmaker's bizarre behavior during his time as a sub. Recordings appeared to show Samsel talking about sex, masturbation, God, and the devil among other non-school related topics and at one point engages in a lengthy interaction with a student who he's accused of assaulting.

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Per the Daily Beast, Samsel is alleged to have kneed the boy in the crotch before asking "Did it hurt?" Ryan Bradbury, Wellsville superintendent, said in a letter that the school couldn't comment on the situation but that Samsel would no longer be allowed to substitute in the district. The 36-year-old was reportedly released on $1,000 bail before continuing to make bizarre statements, this time on his own Snapchat. "The kids and I planned ALL this to SEND A MESSAGE about art, mental health, teenage suicide," his video said, per the Kansas City Star. Samsel is a Republican, and GOP leadership at the statehouse said they've launched an investigation. Samsel has yet to be formally charged with a crime but has a first appearance scheduled in district court for May 19, per the AP. (Read more weird news stories.)

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