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Student letters: ROTC would make CHS even better
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Today's letters are provided by students in Ernest Davis' social studies class at Chestatee High School. More student letters from the class will appear on Monday's Opinion page. Letters may be send by e-mail to letters@gainesvilletimes.com (no attached files, please, which can contain viruses) or or click HERE for a form

I can't imagine a better school than Chestatee High School. The faculty and custodial staff are among the best in Georgia and the student body has a great atmosphere.

However, how can we make Chestatee one of the best schools in Georgia and increase the number of students graduating each year as well as provide options for those students that don't want to go to college? I believe a Reserve Officers Training Corp program would do this.

In this current economic climate, many people are unemployed with graduating high school students adding to these numbers. Opting to join the military has become more of a viable option today than ever. The ROTC program gives new enlistees the skills to have self-discipline, respect for authority and better performance in the field since they are familiar with the weaponry and techniques used.

There are schools both in and around Hall County, like Flowery Branch, West Hall, East Hall, Gainesville, Lumpkin and White County that have ROTC programs. So why can't the students at Chestatee have one?

In a 2008-2009 Georgia Department of Education survey of ROTC enrollments in Georgia high schools, almost 20,000 students enrolled in the Army ROTC, more than 2,000 in the Marine Corps ROTC, 4,500 in the Navy ROTC and 7,500 in the Air Force ROTC. That is more than 33,000 high school students in Georgia.

This survey shows that students like the idea of a ROTC program. These programs are completely government-funded. All that a school would have to supply would be officers for instructing, two classrooms, a drill field, adequate and secure storage, community support, telephones, Internet connectivity, computer maintenance and assisting the retired military officers secure the Georgia "permit." All equipment and salaries are provided for by the federal government.

Adding a ROTC program to Chestatee High School is a great idea. I have talked to teachers, parents and my peers and they all agreed that it is a good idea.

The military provides many opportunities for the young men and women of this country. So why don't we, the students of CHS, have a ROTC program? After all, Chestatee is the place to be.

Jonathan Jones
Chestatee High School

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