“Cobb County Commission Chairman Sam Olens’ admonishment to slow down a controversial new laptop computer program disappointed school officials Wednesday, although Olens said his comments did not mean he opposed the program,” Kristina Torres and Richard Whitt report for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “School officials said they still intend to move forward.”

“Olens made the admonishment Tuesday in a letter to the editor of a local newspaper, which the newspaper cited as opposition to the program. But on Wednesday Olens said, ‘I’m not trying to get involved in a ‘who’s right’ argument because I’m not an expert in that area.’ School board members on a 4-2 vote last week approved the first phase of the program, which eventually could distribute 63,000 Apple iBook laptops to all county teachers and all students in grades 6-12,” Torres and Whitt report.

“The public, however, has been divided about the program’s worth. The Marietta Daily Journal has repeatedly criticized the program. Olens said the debate had become too emotional because of what he characterized as personal attacks coming from board members, some members of the press and the public,” Torres and Whitt report.

Full article here.

There’s also more on this subject in an article today from The Marietta Journal here.

MacDailyNews Take: We sense a growing determination in Cobb County to beat back the rubes. If this saga ever ends and the kids get their iBooks, we sure as hell hope the sensible grownups have a plan for using the technology well instead of squandering it. This thing has gotten off to such a ridiculous start that we fear their first move after taking shipment would probably be to pave the county’s sidewalks with iBooks.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Cobb Commission chief urges delay in Apple iBook program, says issue has become too emotional – April 20, 2005
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