Parents, students 'terrified' after Novato student arrested

NOVATO, Calif. (KGO) -- Last Tuesday, Novato Police arrested a Novato High student on campus, for making criminal threats and for possession of ammunition on school grounds. But parents didn't get official word about the incident, from the district or police, until Monday, and they're not happy about the lack of transparency.

"He's scared to go to school, he doesn't want to get shot," said a mom, who did not want to be identified. She kept her son out of school Monday after she says multiple calls to the high school's principal and vice principal went unreturned. "I just want to know what's going on, not a week later. I want to know what's going on immediately for my son's safety."

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According to the Novato Police Department, the student, 18-year-old Adam Frey, allegedly sent threatening messages to his former roommate, who is a student at a different school. Police came to interview Frey at Novato High on May 8, and when officers searched his car, they found World War II-era rifle ammo.

Because Frey is an adult, he was booked into Marin County Jail and has since been released on bail.

Novato police and the Novato Unified School District did not release any of the details about Frey's arrest until late Monday.

One Novato mom, who is also a private investigator, has been speaking to a dozen families, who heard varying accounts of the arrest and investigation. "If you don't give kids or parents information, don't shame them for rumors because they don't know anything. They're terrified."

The private investigator, who also did not want to be identified, says the school should have spoken up sooner, "They should have been told this on Tuesday when it happened, not today because we started getting pushy."

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"In hindsight, we probably should have put out more communication about it," said Novato Unified Superintendent Jim Hogeboom. He says the district's threat assesment team which involves police, private security, and mental health professionals reached a unanimous decision that Frey does not pose a threat to the school or students.

"There's always a balance at the school district between protecting student's privacy and letting the public and our community know what's happening," explained Hogeboom.

Frey was suspended and is pending expulsion. Investigators do not believe Frey has access to guns.

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