13-year-old B.C. hockey player quits team over bullying

Jamison Ladd penned a letter alleging that coaches did not do enough to resolve harassment

Jamison Ladd penned a letter to his coaches announcing that he was quitting the team after he said bullying was not properly addressed.

Jamison Ladd penned a letter to his coaches announcing that he was quitting the team after he said bullying was not properly addressed.

Months of bullying and verbal abuse turned hockey into a toxic environment, according to a 13-year-old Abbotsford resident.

Jamison Ladd penned a resignation letter to the coaches of his Abbotsford Minor Hockey Association Bantam C3 team stating his intentions to quit the team after he says the harassment failed to improve.

His father, Garrett Ladd, said the bullying initially began with his teammates poking fun at Jamison’s athleticism, but then escalated to racial slurs.

“The kids were making references to him looking like a Jewish character from a book and making anti-Semitic remarks,” Garrett said. “They were referencing the Holocaust and using other racial slurs towards him and other kids. I don’t think these people understand the gravity of what they were saying.”

After learning of the harassment, Garrett said he informed the coaches of what had occurred, but after saying they would deal with it, the bullying continued. Garrett said he then told the coaches he would press harder for more discipline, and one of the alleged bullies was suspended in late-December.

“But the kid went right back into the locker room right after he was suspended and told everyone on the team immediately what had just happened and who was the reason for it,” Garrett said. “It didn’t improve anything.”

Garrett said the coaches of Jamison’s team were not properly supervising the team and weren’t following the Hockey Canada “two-deep policy,” which calls for at least two adult supervisors in the dressing room at all times.

“Things would continue to happen when they weren’t in the room and Jamison would have to leave the room to find them and tell them,” he said. “It made it hard for him to do anything.”

Garrett said it eventually became too much for Jamison and he wrote the letter to his coaches to announce he was departing the team.

The AMHA’s procedure for reporting violations recommends that issues be addressed at the lowest level possible, beginning by player to player and moving up. Garrett believes that the AMHA failed to follow that policy when dealing with the boys bullying his son.

“These comments were unacceptable at any level and we reported it early,” he said. “The coaches were aware and, when one of the kids was suspended, the executives were to be notified, at least that’s what we were told.”

Since sharing the letter on social media, Garrett has had a meeting with AMHA executives. During that meeting, he said that the executives stated that they had no idea of the situation.

“We thought everyone knew and now everyone is saying they didn’t know what was going on and are implying we didn’t follow proper reporting procedures. There has been no apology or admission of responsibility at all. No one asked how Jamison or my family is doing. They seem more concerned with alleviating themselves of culpability.”

Garrett said he has heard nothing from AMHA president Janine Rizzo and that Bantam division director Jason Wienberger said he was blindsided by the news. However, according to the bullying policy they both should have been informed.

He added he and his family have received positive feedback from other local families, who said they have also experienced bullying through the AMHA, but were encouraged to remain silent.

The AMHA has not yet responded to an interview request from The News.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Stock photo)
EDITORIAL: COVID-19 restrictions continue to affect us all

Canada has recorded more than 700,000 confirmed cases of pandemic

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine to Ann Hicks, 77, in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-Pool
61 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

Twenty-nine people are in hospital, seven of whom are in intensive care

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
253 new COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths in Interior Health over the weekend

More than 1,000 cases in the region remain active

An Abbotsford man was killed in a motor vehicle accident on Highway 3 on Monday, Jan. 18. (Black Press file photo)
Abbotsford man killed in Highway 3 single vehicle crash near Hedley

Fatality was discovered by passing tow truck driver

(Black Press file photo)
Highway 3 cleared, open after vehicle incident

The road was closed for about three hours earlier on Jan. 18

Charlotte is one of the resident pigs at Star's Piggly Wiggly's Sanctuary near Kelowna. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Kelowna-area pig sanctuary needs a new home

Star’s Piggly Wiggly’s Sanctuary is looking for properties in Vernon, Coldstream, and Enderby

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canadian malls, conference centres, hotels offer up space for COVID vaccination centres

Commercial real estate association REALPAC said that a similar initiative was seeing success in the U.K.

Flags line the National Mall towards the Capitol Building as events get underway for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States

About 25,000 National Guard members have been dispatched to Washington

A memorial for the fatal bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335 near Tisdale, Tuesday, October 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards
‘End of the road:’ Truck driver in Humboldt Broncos crash awaits deportation decision

Sidhu was sentenced almost two years ago to eight years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving

A couple living at the Summerland Waterfront Resort is trying to sell their unit because of strata changes which will require them to pay significantly higher strata fees or have their unit included in the resort’s rental pool (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Couple living at Summerland resort facing increases

Permanent residents of Summerland Waterfront Resort told fees will more than double

Cumberland photographer Sara Kemper recently took the top spot in a Canadian Geographic photography contest. Photo by Sara Kemper
B.C. photographer takes top Canadian Geographic photo prize

Sara Kemper shows what home means to her in Comox Valley photo

(Big White Ski Resort)
28 more cases of COVID-19 linked to Big White cluster

More than 200 cases have been identified since the cluster was announced

Police are seeking further witnesses after an elderly woman who was struck by a vehicle in Salmon Arm succumbed to her injuries. (File Photo)
Salmon Arm pedestrian dies after being hit by truck along Highway 1

Collision took place on Jan. 15 in downtown Salmon Arm, police looking for witnesses

A cow moose wanders around the Silver Star Elementary School neighbourhood Tuesday, Jan. 19. (Contributed)
Moose chases two people near North Okanagan school

Conservation and dog control attending to the situation

Most Read