Samsel surrenders teaching license


Republican state Rep. Mark Samsel has given up his substitute teaching license, saying he hopes it brings “peace and healing for all” after being involved in a classroom incident in which he was accused of kicking a student in the crotch.

Samsel revealed in a Facebook post on Wednesday morning that he voluntarily gave up his license this week, three months after he was involved in classroom outburst while working as a substitute teacher at Wellsville High School.

The second-term lawmaker from Wellsville is now facing three charges of misdemeanor battery related to two students who were about 16 years old.

Samsel declined comment on his posting because of his pending case. He said he hoped his posting would be used for the benefit of others.

A judge had ordered Samsel to undergo a mental health evaluation at the Elizabeth Layton Center, which provides behavioral health services in Franklin and Miami counties.

Franklin County Attorney Brandon Jones asked for the examination as part of the bond requirements for Samsel.

Samsel last appeared in court on July 12 and is now set to appear again on Aug. 16.

Samsel said he had “multiple visits” with mental health professionals within the last three months and they concluded that the day’s events resulted from an isolated episode of “mania with psychotic features.”

He said it was the result of “extreme stress, pressure, and agitation over a sustained period of time, the worst of which is April and May in the Kansas Legislature.

“There is no likelihood that it will happen again, especially as I have continued to study ways to handle stress,” Samsel wrote.

Samsel said he hoped his posting would serve a larger purpose by helping others.

“I also hope this helps bring awareness and understanding, especially for those who have never been touched by a mental health battle,” Samsel wrote.

“Once you have, it brings a whole new perspective. Please continue to pray for all our leaders in this modern era.

“The thickest skin is still but human flesh, hopefully sustained by a kind and vulnerable heart.

“While my battle may be the most visible, I know from many private conservations in Topeka that my struggles are far from uncommon.”

Samsel thanked many individuals who have supported him through his ordeal and have continued to accept him and provide words of encouragement.

“From Colony and Garnett to Osawatomie and Wellsville, thank you. You have been incredibly supportive beyond measure,” he wrote.

“Beyond the District boundaries, too, I cannot thank you enough. Many in Burlington, Louisburg, Lyndon, Paola, and Prairie View have shown me grace and love that I can never repay. Thank you.”

The Wellsville School District already barred Samsel from school grounds after he was arrested in connection with the incident in which he started talking about suicide, God, the devil and the wrath of God during class.

He also talked about masturbation and the politics of the Senate president, who he described as the devil.