“Cobb County Commission Chairman Sam Olens said Wednesday he would like to see the county’s school board back away from its plan to provide students and teachers with laptops because the issue has gotten so emotional,” Mike Morris reports for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“‘The personal attacks by both the school board members, some of the press and the public have gotten way too high,’ said Olens, who sent a letter to the editor of a local newspaper Tuesday, opposing the proposal to provide laptops to all county teachers and middle and high school students,” Morris reports.

“‘The flame has gotten so high that we’re forgetting about the kid,’ said Olens, a lawyer. ‘I’d rather everyone lower the flame, delay any talk about a pilot program, give the teachers laptops and repair and upgrade existing technology in all the schools — elementary, middle and high — and extend the discussions on a potential pilot program. Whether that means six months, or whether that means a year, that’s irrelevant. It’s too big an issue to have all this emotion involved,’ he said. Last week, the school board voted 4-2 to approve the first phase of a $70 million, four-year program that could eventually distribute 63,000 Apple iBooks to public school teachers and all students in grades 6-12 in the county school system. Phase 1 of the program would provide more than 7,100 Cobb teachers with the laptops, as well as equipping four high schools as demonstration sites and upgrading middle school computer labs,” Morris reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Okay, so no laptops at all. Delay technology to the kids for 6 months or a year instead because the county’s school board is “too emotional.” That’s supposed to be keeping the kids’ best interests at heart? Teach the kids that if there’s ever any “controversy” and some people happen to get “emotional,” it’s best to delay any decision. What a joke.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
No conflict of interest in ongoing Cobb County Apple iBook saga – April 19, 2005
More controversy in Atlanta-area school district’s plan to buy Apple iBooks – April 16, 2005
Cobb County Georgia approves first phase of plan that could equip schools with 63,000 Apple iBooks – April 15, 2005
Atlanta-area school district on verge of deal for 31,000 Apple iBooks – April 12, 2005
Cobb teachers voice concerns over using Macs for proposed laptop program – March 29, 2005
Cobb County Georgia meeting discusses plan to equip schools with 63,000 Apple iBooks – February 24, 2005
Report: 90 percent of emails opposed to Georgia’s Apple iBook program – February 10, 2005
65,000 Apple iBooks for Georgia schools one of the largest school laptop programs in the country – February 10, 2005
Georgia school district to propose 63,000 Macs for students and teachers – February 07, 2005