Overwhelming interest closes school 'guardian' job posting in Volusia

180 apply for 44 job openings

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A job posting for 44 "guardians" at Volusia County schools has been closed due to an influx of applicants.

The guardian program was implemented in Volusia County to help keep children safe in schools and is part of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act.

As of Tuesday, the Volusia County School District had received about 180 applications.

Through the initial vetting process, about 50 of the applicants did not meet the minimum requirements, according to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.

The remaining 130 applicants will be subject to interviews in the coming days and weeks. The interview panels include school district and VCSO personnel.

The initial plan is to hire at least 44 guardians, although VCSO said it is prepared to train more.

"They'll be hired by the school board. They'll be vetted by the Sheriff's Office. They'll be trained by the Sheriff's Office. They will not have the power of arrest and they will be armed," Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said earlier this month.

"Candidates who are selected to move forward out of the initial interviews will enter a second phase that includes fingerprinting and drug screening tests as well as completion of the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office supplemental application for employment," officials said in a statement. "VCSO Internal Affairs will be compiling a list of candidates to conduct background checks. This background check, the same type completed for deputies, includes a polygraph and evaluation of character references. The applicants will also be subject to a psychological examination."

The Sheriff’s Office will purchase equipment -- including firearms, ammunition, holsters and magazine pouches -- for the guardians. The school board has agreed to provide web belts, polo shirts and body armor.

Training for the hired guardians is scheduled to begin July 2. 

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