An elementary school principal got restraining orders against a Juneau man in 2019. Now he’s running for school board.

The Dimond Courthouse in Juneau on Feb. 27, 2017. (Photo by Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)
The Dimond Courthouse in Juneau on Feb. 27, 2017. (Photo by Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)

Ibn Bailey is one of eight candidates running for a seat on Juneau’s school board. He said he’s running to be a political-free, data-driven voice in local education policy.  

In 2019, two Juneau women say he harassed and stalked them, including the principal of Sayéik Gastineau Community School, Brenda Edwards. She was granted stalking protective orders against Bailey — twice. 

Ibn Bailey

When first asked to explain the orders, Bailey said he didn’t want to rehash the situation. But, he described them as a direct result of his attempts to talk to school staff about his nephews. He said their dad was having trouble caring for them. 

“In that situation where he was homeless, and they’re facing shelter and food insecurities, they were children and in transition,” he said. “And that’s how the initial order came about — where I was banned from the schools.” 

Bailey said he knows it’s jarring to see those restraining orders in his background. 

“They were not domestic violence related. They weren’t. There wasn’t any violence, there wasn’t any sexual coercion, there wasn’t any of those things that you normally associate with domestic violence and stalking,” he said. 

Stalking in Alaska is a specific type of restraining order. It’s one where someone who isn’t a member of a person’s household has nonconsensual contact with them. And because of that contact, they fear physical injury or death. 

But Bailey said that what the court decided was stalking was actually the result of a miscommunication. 

“This was an order to keep me away from communicating with the principal of the school that my nephew attended, and also to keep me away from continuing on with my attempted advocacy for these children,” he said. 

He said the Juneau School District struggles with race. He said data shows that police are called to the schools far more often for disputes involving Alaska Native and Native American students, and other nonwhite students. He said all three of his nephews are Alaska Native, African American and Asian. Bailey is Black. 

He told a story about his brother being profiled while on a local school football team and that his family was threatened with arrest. And he said he thinks that’s why the school district got the police involved. 

“We’ve had prior experiences, so it was a surprise to actually receive the [protective] order, but actually, it wasn’t a surprise,” Bailey said. “Our police and our responders have bigger concerns to be dealing with than the school activating what has historically been the way it has been to get unruly or disagreeable families and advocates out of school by threatening them with police action, or court orders.” 

But it turns out that his description of how he landed in court for stalking is not accurate. Or, at least, it wasn’t the whole story. 

When Brenda Edwards went to court to ask for a protective order,  she brought a stack of emails that Bailey sent that described his attraction to her. 

Edwards said she didn’t want to talk about the incident, but her filings in court tell a very different story than Bailey’s. 

She began by describing her meeting with Bailey at the school in 2019. She wrote that she was nervous at first because she had suspended his son four years prior and at the time, Bailey threatened a civil rights lawsuit for discrimination. But, Edwards said she thought they had a good interaction; he apologized to her for their previous conflict. 

But then Bailey sent her a message telling her that the universe was speaking to his spirit and heart. She didn’t respond. He wrote again, and she didn’t respond to that one either. Then he sent a third email with his number in it and another saying he wouldn’t write to her again. 

At this point, she said in court documents, she called the district superintendent because his emails made her uncomfortable. After they consulted, Edwards sent Bailey an email that ends with the phrase “it is my expectation that you would not email me in the future.”

But he sent another email saying he was separated from his wife and was a safe guy.  Another saying “I know you said to stop with the emails but…” He sent a third email saying that he thought the world of her. He told her he had feelings for her and called her “stunning.” 

She didn’t respond to any of those. 

In his court filings, he said these personal emails were to show her that he wasn’t lying about his intentions. He said he was trying to reassure her that his interest in her and in his nephews were two separate things. 

At some point, she blocked his emails. 

Then, Bailey got a call from Juneau police informing him of the protective order. He told the court that his first thought was, “Why me? Who gets served papers for trying to be a nice guy?”

In court documents, Bailey asked the judge not to grant the protective order. He apologized to Edwards and said that he is not a threat to her or her family. He also said he believed that Edwards filed for an order of protection for professional reasons and not because he was stalking her.

But he said that he recognized that Edwards and her staff were doing their jobs: protecting the children in their school. Then he said he wouldn’t contact her again. 

But, a week after Edwards’ first protective order expired in August of 2019, he sent flowers and a handwritten poem on a notecard to the school for her. She went to court again. She told the judge she had finally reached a point where she wasn’t thinking all the time about being stalked, but getting that gift at the school brought back all of the feelings of being unsafe. 

The court granted her another protective order, this time for a year. 

When reached again to explain why he hadn’t told the entire truth about the protective orders, Bailey said he was trying to be discreet and avoid embarrassing anyone. 

But he also insisted that he and Edwards had romantic feelings for each other. 

The one thing Edwards said on record is that she had no social, personal, romantic interactions or relationship with Bailey. In court, she wrote that he clearly wanted to be involved beyond her professional role — and that was clearly not mutual, because she didn’t respond to him. 

The other local woman who requested a protective order said she, too, had frequent, unwanted contact with Bailey. She said that he showed up to her job uninvited. She asked for a short-term protective order, which she got, but the judge denied a long-term order. 

Bailey said what he regrets the most about the whole situation is that he didn’t help his brother and said the situation was very traumatic for his brother and his nephews. 

But, he also wants voters to know that he believes violence against women is a real problem in Alaska. 

“I would say that, that our rates of domestic violence, violence against women, our murdered and missing Indigenous women, our African American women, our women of color, that we have a real issue in Alaska,” he said. “And that we need to do more, there’s so much more that we need to do, but understanding that this is real. And this is impactful. And it needs to be a concern for every single Alaskan.” 

And, for voters in this community that want to know more about his character, he said to look to the women in his family who stand by him. 

According to the latest Alaska Victimization Survey, 1 in 3 women reported being stalked in their lifetimes. That includes being watched or followed from a distance, getting unwanted cards, flowers or gifts and getting unwanted emails or messages. 

If you are a survivor of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking in Alaska, you can find legal help through the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault. You can also call Juneau’s local domestic violence shelter AWARE on their free and confidential CareLine at 1-800-478-1090.

Note: In an unrelated case, the reporter filed for and received a long-term stalking protective order against a different Juneau man in 2019.

Rashah McChesney

Daily News Editor, KTOO

I help the newsroom establish daily news priorities and do hands-on editing to ensure a steady stream of breaking and enterprise news for a local and regional audience.

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