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South Forsyth football standout arrested for claiming school shooting on fake Twitter account


* War Eagles maintain focus on Lambert, not sudden distractions.

SOUTH FORSYTH -- Allegations of a school shooting planned for Tuesday at a Forsyth County high school were unfounded after authorities investigated the social media account on which they appeared and arrested the student they say was responsible.

Emmanuel Godswill, a 19-year-old student at South Forsyth High, reportedly created a false Twitter account in the name of an actual former student from the school, according to Jennifer Caracciolo, spokeswoman for Forsyth County Schools.

Godswill, who’s a defensive standout on the school’s football team, began tweeting back and forth Monday night between the fake account and his real account, eluding a shooting would happen at South the next day.

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office investigated the claim that night, Caracciolo said, and kept all involved parties, including South’s administration and staff and the district safety team, up to date through the process.

“There were extra patrols at the school in the morning, but we found no risk of an incident,” she said.

Godswill has been charged with disruption of a public school and public defamation, both misdemeanors. He was also charged with impersonating another or a witness, which is a felony.

He was released from the Forsyth County Detention Center on Tuesday night after posting a bond of $6,820.

The motivation for the incident was not immediately clear.

Jeff Cheney, South’s principal, emailed all parents who have subscribed to the school’s ParentPortal about the then-resolved issue.

“As you know, we take threats such as these very seriously,” Cheney wrote in the email. “The [sheriff’s office] investigated and closed the matter last night.

“Our school administrative team and the district’s school safety department were fully aware throughout the evening, and in addition to the consequences from law enforcement, the current SFHS student will receive the appropriate disciplinary action from the school.”

As of Thursday, the exact disciplinary action had not been announced.

School system officials declined to say when, or if, Godswill would be allowed to return to school, though it appeared highly unlikely he would play in Friday night’s football game against rival Lambert.

Doug Rainwater, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, said jail time will probably be associated if Godswill is found guilty of any of the three charges.

“This scared a lot of people,” Rainwater said. “The public alarm [caused] deserves some type of sentence that will deter other people from doing the same thing.”