LORAIN COUNTY, Ohio. — Kirsten Hill talked to News 5 just hours before she began her trek to Washington D.C. before the events of Jan. 6. Hill said she was organizing the buses people could take and was going as a part of the group Free Ohio Now.
"We want our elected officials to look at the evidence about the alleged voter fraud mainly focused on the swing states," she said, earlier in January.
Hill is an elected member of the State Board of Education representing several northeast Ohio counties. Her term expires in December of 2022.
The board is responsible for implementing standardized testing for public schools.
Scott Dimauro, the president of the Ohio Education Association, said because of her title, she should not have gone to D.C. at all.
"As educators, as people that are very concerned about the message being sent to the 1.7 million children who attend school in our state, we just think that was a terrible example and setting the wrong message," he said.
But in a statement Hill sent to News 5, she denounced the violence.
Read Hill's full statement:
I traveled to Washington D.C on January 6th as a private citizen with a group of like-minded people to express our concerns that there was significant voter fraud in the November 3rd presidential election. As you are no doubt aware, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution affords citizens the right to petition our government for redress of our grievances while exercising our freedom of speech and the right to peaceably assemble.
Unfortunately, there was a small minority of individuals who appear to have broken the law by vandalizing the Capitol Building and personal property. I condemn any acts of violence or damage that may have been done by any individuals or groups regardless of their motives or deeply held convictions. It is, of course, best to wait for official investigations to be completed before assigning absolute responsibility for any lawlessness.
My participation at the event consisted of listening to President Trump’s speech, walking to the Capitol, praying at a street corner along the National Mall, and waving my American flag in support of our great country.
Dimauro said the statement isn't enough.
"She doesn’t recognize or acknowledge the gravity of the situation. This was a violent insurrection on our nation's Capitol that led to the death of 5 people, including a police officer," he said. "This was a rally that had as its purpose overturning a free and fair election."