Teacher arrested for allegedly kneeing student in the crotch after homophobic classroom rant
Kansas state lawmaker and educator Mark Samsel was arrested on charges of misdemeanour battery after a physical altercation with a student during a homophobic rant.
The Republican representative was working as a substitute teacher in Kansas‘ Wellsville School District when he was caught on a series of videos recorded by students.
The Kansas City Star reported the students recorded videos of Samsel engaging in a homophobic rant about suicide, sex, masturbation, God and the Bible.
In one video shared with the publication, Samsel reportedly told students about a “sophomore who’s tried killing himself three times”, adding it was because the teen has “two parents, and they’re both females”. He said the teen is a “foster kid”.
“His alternatives in life were having no parents or foster care parents who are gay,” he is said to have ranted. “How do you think I’m going to feel if he commits suicide? Awful.”
In another video sent to the Kansas City Star, Mark Samsel reportedly asked students: “Who likes making babies? That feels good, doesn’t it? Procreate… You haven’t masturbated? Don’t answer that question… God already knows.”
At one point, the outlet said, Samsel focused his attention on one male student. He reportedly told the student he was “about ready to anger me and get the wrath of God”, adding: “Do you believe me when I tell you that God has been speaking to me?”
Samsel then reportedly told the student: “You should run and scream.”
Parents told the Kansas City Star that Mark Samsel “put hands on the student” and allegedly kneed him in the crotch. He also allegedly encouraged other students by saying “you have permission to kick him in the balls”.
Samsel was arrested and booked into the Franklin County Adult Detention Center on 29 April and was released on a $1,000 bond. He is charged with a misdemeanour battery.
He appeared on KSNT after his release to defend himself, claiming the entire incident and alleged assault was “staged”. He said “nobody was ever in danger”, and that “we made it look” like people were “in anger or outrageous or hurting kids”.
“Altercation’s a strong word,” he said. “There was no altercation. I’m sure there are some – one or two students – that probably perceived it as one, but it was exactly as we planned it.”
KSNT also obtained a short clip from the incident in the classroom in which Mark Samsel asks a student if they “got your c**p done”. He added: “What’s more important: what you want or what God wants you to do?”
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One parent told the Kansas City Star he was concerned about the incident, saying Samsel is “somebody in a position of power”. He added: “And he did not do right by those kids. A lot of kids were affected by that.”
NBC-affiliate KFOR reported Ray Bradbury, Wellsville school district superintendent, said in a letter sent to parents that the school district is aware of the situation. But Bradbury said the school district is “prevented from commenting further on this situation”. He explained: “This is not due to lack of transparency but due to privacy laws that prevent us from doing so.”
KFOR reported that House leadership is also investigating the incident involving Samsel. House Republican leadership said in a statement: “We learned today that rep. Mark Samsel was involved in an incident and law enforcement was contacted. We are not yet aware of the details, but are in the process of gathering as much information as we can.”
KSN reported that Samsel is no longer allowed to be a substitute at Wellsville school district, and he was also asked to resign from his position on the Missouri Valley College board of trustees.
The news outlet reported Mark Samsel will make his first court appearance on battery charges on 19 May.