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Teacher returns to school after cheating allegations

JONESBORO — Clayton County educator Carmen Royster returned to her classroom this week, after fighting allegations she helped students cheat on a statewide standardized test.

Royster appeared before an employment tribunal in September accused of misconduct during the administration of the state’s 2013 Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests. Officials said the special education teacher tipped off her students at Eddie White Academy with answers to a standardized test last spring.

Attorney Steven Frey argued for Royster’s appeal during a September employment hearing. A three-member panel deliberated and ruled on the case, recommending the school board suspend her 10 days rather than terminate her employment.

The board accepted the tribunal panel’s recommendation with five members in favor and two members, Mark Christmas and Jessie Goree, opposed. Michael King abstained, and Charles Bivins was absent from the vote.

Frey confirmed his client was suspended for 10 days with time served.

“She’s thrilled to be put back to work,” he said.

Frey does not expect any additional action in Royster’s case.