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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Incoming UMass Boston freshman charged with animal abuse

**Trigger warning: this article contains mention of animal cruelty**

Jackson Kain, 18, a high school senior at Plattsburgh High School in New York, was charged Friday, April 1, with one count of torturing or injuring an animal. According to the New York State Agricultural and Market Law, this is a class A misdemeanor.

Kain was recorded throwing a cat against a wall, then laughing as it ran away in pain. This video has since circulated around Facebook and Twitter, and there have been numerous calls for his expulsion from the high school. The high school declined to take any course of disciplinary action against him, but the matter was referred to the police

A Change.org petition titled, “EXPEL JACKSON KAIN & OLIVER MAHER FROM PLATTSBURGH HIGH SCHOOL,” has over 5,500 signatures.

The Plattsburgh Police Department charged Kain after an investigation and consultation with the Clinton County District Attorney’s Office. He was arrested and released on an appearance ticket. He will return to City Court at a later date.

As of the time of publication, the Plattsburgh police did not respond to the request for a comment.

On March 13, Kain’s mother posted on Facebook that he had been accepted into UMass Boston as a part of the biology program and the men’s lacrosse team. As an admitted student to the university, Kain is in violation of the UMass Boston Student Code of Conduct.

The Code of Conduct goes into effect at the time of admission into the university. It is important to note that the Code is not limited to the formal boundaries of the campus. The Code says that it is “based on shared values among members of our University community, it sets a broad range of expectations for students no matter where or when their conduct may take place.”

Per the Code, students must obey university policies as well as federal, state and local laws.  Violation of federal, state or local laws is prohibited. 
Beyond breaking the law, the Code specifically states that “harming behavior, which includes but is not limited to: the threat of or actual physical assault or abuse, and harassment” is a violation. This would include committing acts of animal abuse. 
The Mass Media reached out to the Dean of Students Office, the Athletic Director, the men’s lacrosse coaches and the Office of Admissions to gain further insight into how the university would be handling this situation.  

Dean of Students and Associate Vice Chancellor John Silveria stated, “If you look at our Student Code of Conduct, students are responsible for their actions, whether it occurs on or off campus. If we received a report like this about an enrolled student, we would certainly investigate a situation like that.”  

At this time, it is too soon for the Dean of Students Office to pursue action against Kain, as he still has time to decline the university’s acceptance. The Office of Admissions could rescind his acceptance, but it is unclear if they are considering that option.

The Department of Athletics and Recreation declined to comment, and the Office of Admissions did not respond at the time of publication.