A Republican Kansas state representative was arrested Thursday after ranting about God and allegedly "putting hands on a student" while substitute teaching, prompting a lengthy and "incoherent" apology Sunday morning.
Kansas GOP Rep. Mark Samsel, of Wellsville, was substitute teaching at the local secondary school Wednesday when numerous students filmed him talking about sex, suicide, the Bible and masturbation. The Kansas City Star reported Friday that Samsel targeted one male student in the class particularly hard with insults and even encouraged "you have permission to kick him in the balls," he said in one video.
"He's a foster kid. His alternatives in life were having no parents or foster care parents who are gay," Samsel can be heard telling students in one video published to YouTube Thursday. "How do you think I'm going to feel if he commits suicide? Awful...make babies. Who likes making babies? That feels good, doesn't it? Procreate ... You haven't masturbated? Don't answer that question....God already knows."
"You got your crap done? What's much more important - what you want or what God wants you to do?" Samsel asks one male student.
Samsel was arrested and booked into the Franklin County Adult Detention Center Thursday afternoon and released on $1,000 bond. He is charged with misdemeanor battery.
The 36-year-old Wellsville, Kansas, Republican even appeared on KSNT-TV Saturday to defend himself from the evidence, claiming the entire video recorded incident and alleged assault of the student was "staged" against him.
Superintendent Ryan Bradbury announced Samsel will no longer be allowed to work in the district, which prompted a Sunday morning Facebook post from the GOP lawmaker in which denied the claims and rambled about Christianity, the U.S. Capitol riot, and mental health in America.
His apology was as meandering as his initial tirade to the students.
"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," Samsel wrote in a massive Sunday morning Facebook post, an apology of sorts that is over 1,000 words long.
The apology post continued: "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. That's not caused by me folks. Nope, that's you, keyboard warriors...The truth will continue to unfold over the coming days. Remember that patience is a virtue. Notwithstanding the efforts of some to convict immediately -- some for caring but misguided motives, others for ill motives -- here in American [sic] we are innocent until proven guilty."
Commenters to the Facebook post described it as "incoherent," with some urging that Samsel get "help."
Newsweek reached out to the Wellsville school district as well as the GOP representative Sunday morning for additional comments.