Bellaire lifeguards punished for beer party

July 11, 2008 4:17:18 PM PDT
Twelve Bellaire lifeguards are being disciplined for an underage drinking party at the city's new swimming center this week. Bellaire officers say only one of the 12 lifeguards who were caught drinking inside the Family Aquatic Center around midnight Tuesday night was old enough to drink. At least one lifeguard was as young as 15.

Officers say the lifeguards had locked the center and by the time they got inside, more than three dozen beer cans had been hidden.

John Clement, 22, was charged with furnishing alcohol to minors. He has since resigned his position at the Family Aquatic Center. While the other 11 lifeguards were not charged, they each received letters of reprimand. They were each given a week off without pay, and given 15 hours of maintenance duty around the pool.

The head of the Bellaire Parks and Recreation Department says the teens admitted they had been drinking, but they were tearful and remorseful.

"They've grown up with us. They've been in our classes and our programs. They've been in our camps," explained Jane Dembski. "They're good kids. They're very well trained. I would leave any of my family with them. I trust them."

The 11 lifeguards ranged in age from 15 to 20. As for Clement, Dembski describes him as an excellent employee.

You can read more on this story in the Bellaire Examiner, one of our Houston Community Newspaper partners.

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