Ellen Giles and Janet Siddiqui are both very good friends of mine. I had the honor, pleasure and privilege of serving with them on the Howard County Board of Education for four years. They are smart, dedicated, knowledgeable, hard-working, caring and conscientious. They are both running for re-election to the Board of Education based solely on their desire to serve the best interests of our children.

Throughout this campaign, Ellen and Janet have been negatively criticized and personally attacked by some of their opponents and their followers. While people certainly have a right to their opinions, they do not have a right to distort facts, spread lies, and make false claims to impugn the character and integrity of two fine public servants. As Andrew Carnegie said, "What you say about others, says a lot about you." These particular opponents and some of their supporters have shown themselves to be no more than bullies by harassing and attacking the integrity and reputations of both Ellen and Janet.

In Howard County, we encourage people to Choose Civility and stand up against bullying. These people have demonstrated their lack of civility and have used bullying tactics to undermine the reputations of two competent incumbents. Are these the type of individuals we want on our school board?

We have seen the damage that can be done when ego-driven individuals, who care only about advancing their own personal agendas, are elected to the school board. The Howard County Public School System needs people on the Board of Education who put the interests of our children first. That is why I support Ellen Giles and Janet Siddiqui and I encourage all Howard County voters to do the same.


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Larry Cohen

Columbia