Kansas lawmaker accused of kicking boy says stress caused ‘mania’

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In this photo from Monday, May 3, 2021, Kansas state Rep. Mark Samsel, R-Wellsville, talks on his cellphone ahead of the House’s daily session, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Samsel has surrendered his substitute teacher’s license and says he has been seeing mental health professionals after being charged with three counts of battery over interactions with two Wellsville High School students while teaching an April 28, 2021, art class. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas legislator accused of kicking a high school student in the testicles has surrendered his state substitute teacher’s license.

Republican state Rep. Mark Samsel of Wellsville also said Wednesday that extreme stress caused what he called an isolated episode of mania with psychotic features.

Samsel disclosed in a Facebook post that he has seen mental health professionals over the past three months and surrendered his substitute teacher’s license Tuesday.  

Samsel faces three misdemeanor criminal charges of battery following what the local prosecutor described as “rude, insulting or angry” interactions with two Wellsville High School students during an April 28 art class.

His next court hearing is Aug. 16.

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