More than double the number of people needed have applied to become armed security guards in Pasco County's elementary schools.
District leadership informed School Board members on Monday that 125 candidates had submitted paperwork to seek one of the 53 positions advertised a week ago, after the board created the new position.
Another 56 hopefuls are seeking the district's newly established director of safety and security job, also put into place because of the state's new laws implemented after the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Broward County.
Pasco officials, like those in several other districts, had said they preferred to place trained law enforcement officers in the schools that don't already have one. A lack of available funding, however, led the School Board to go down the armed guard path.
The district's security guard job will pay $20 an hour.
People who eventually get the positions will have to go through 132 hours of training with the Sheriff's Office, as well as preparations in how to work at an elementary school with young children. That work is expected to begin in early June.
District leaders said they will be looking for applicants with some previous experience in law enforcement, the military or related fields. So far, they said, the caliber of candidates appears positive.
The district personnel department already has begun screening the applicants based on their submissions, and interviews are scheduled to take place this week. Assistant superintendent Betsy Kuhn advised the board that the job ad might go up again if needed.