New Atlanta school includes ROTC gun range



ATLANTA - When the all new North Atlanta High School opens its doors Wednesday, students will have sparkling new facilities including an indoor rifle range.

The range was built for the school's Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp and the rifle team.

Most parents told Channel 2's Carl Willis they were confident the school would take steps to ensure that students are safe, but they said they want to know more.

"I'll probably question it a little bit just to get a better idea," said parent Donna Jones. "Like I said, I didn't understand why they're going to be doing that but I think they're going to be very careful in protecting the students."

"I can see why they would be concerned but I know they go through lots of training and they're heavily supervised," said senior Turner Hume.

This isn't the only on campus rifle range in Atlanta.

A school spokesperson said the facility at NAHS is modeled after one already in use at Grady High School.

According to Atlanta Public Schools, the program will have an instructor certified by the U.S. Army Cadet Command and the Georgia High School Athletic Association.

They also said that while the term "rifle" is used, the range actually supports compressed-air powered pellet rifles.

They said the schools have taken steps to equip rifle team members with the latest safety gear.

"It's nothing that can hurt anybody and they will be supervised to the max," said parent Cappy McAlpin. "Why not start now for those that want to do that."

The 11-story school on Northside Parkway boasts scenic views of a lake and lush treelines.

The classrooms and labs are cutting edge and parent Bobby Strozier said the JROTC program and the range only add to the school.

"If I see a kid walking around school with a weapon locked and loaded I would have concern, but I think they're going to be locked in a lock and safe," he said.

No students will be able to use the site until it is safety certified.

School officials said that should happen within the next 30 days.

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