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Casper police arrested a substitute elementary school teacher last week on suspicion of working while under the influence.

According to court documents, several teachers Friday reported Carrie Gross appeared “markedly impaired” while she was working at Pineview Elementary School. The Natrona County School District’s risk manager and the school’s assistant principal met with her. During the meeting she appeared lethargic and gave nonsensical or inconsistent answers to their questions, the risk manager, Andrea Nester, told police.

Gross, 39, declined to submit to substance use testing, the documents state. She did say she had used alcohol in the morning before recanting the statement, Nester told police. The district’s associate superintendent for human resources, Verba Echols, was also present at the school Friday.

Prosecutors on Monday charged Gross with a single misdemeanor count of use of a controlled substance. She has requested a jury trial, according to a Natrona County Circuit Court clerk.

According to a district statement, which did not include names, the “individual” who met with Nester and law enforcement at the school “is no longer a substitute” in the district.

Court documents did not indicate if Gross has retained a lawyer and court clerks gave conflicting responses when asked if she had entered a not guilty plea.

The documents state a responding police officer noted that Gross was unsteady and had red eyes and dilated pupils, which can be signs of drug use.

The police officer indicated in the documents that Gross appeared to be under the influence of cannabis and a central nervous system depressant.

Star-Tribune staff writer Seth Klamann contributed to this report.

Editor’s note: A previous headline on this article misstated where the substitute was arrested. She was arrested in Pineview Elementary School.

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Follow crime reporter Shane Sanderson on Twitter @shanersanderson

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Crime and Courts Reporter

Shane Sanderson is a Star-Tribune reporter who primarily covers criminal justice. Sanderson is a proud University of Missouri graduate. Lately, he’s been reading Cormac McCarthy and cooking Italian food. He writes about his own life in his free time.

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