ND state superintendent of public instruction Kirsten Baesler arrested for domestic violence

BISMARCK, N.D. - Kirsten Baesler, North Dakota's superintendent of public instruction, was jailed Sunday for what police describe as a domestic violence assault.

BISMARCK, N.D. – Kirsten Baesler, North Dakota’s superintendent of public instruction, was jailed Sunday for what police describe as a domestic violence assault.

Baesler, 45, is being held in the Burleigh County Detention Center without bond on one count of simple assault, a misdemeanor.

Officers were called at 2:27 a.m. Sunday to the home of a 48-year-old man who was not identified but was described as Baesler’s fiancé, according to Bismarck police.

“The victim had visible injury as well as dried blood on his face,” Lt. Cody Trom of the Bismarck Police Department said in a statement.

Baesler had left the home, on the 1100 block of South Port Loop, before police arrived.


“Based on the results of the investigation, probable cause was established to arrest Baesler for the domestic-related simple assault,” Trom said.

Baesler later was located and was booked into the jail at about 4:45 p.m. Sunday, where she will remain until a judge authorizes her release, said Lt. Glen Ternes of the Bismarck Police Department.

Because Monday is a holiday, President’s Day, her likely first appearance in Bismarck Municipal Court would be Tuesday, Ternes said. She would not be released until then or possibly if her lawyer confers with the judge, he said.

Police would not comment on the nature of the altercation or provide other details of the alleged assault.

“It’s still an active report,” Ternes said.

A statement from Baesler was not immediately available Sunday evening.

Baesler, whose career as an educator spanned more than 20 years, was elected to her position in November 2012 as the state’s leading public education official.

A native of Flasher, N.D., Baesler’s education career started as a library assistant. She later became a library media specialist and an assistant principal in the Bismarck Public School District.


She served for seven years as president of the Mandan School Board and was assistant executive director of the North Dakota School Boards Association before being elected superintendent of public instruction with a letter of support from the Republican Party.

In office, Baesler has been a vocal advocate of North Dakota’s adoption of the “Common Core” education standards, and has supported pre-kindergarten education.

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