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.

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.

Just Posted

New MRI unit increases access

Interior Health aims for 5100 exams in Cranbrook this year

DNA test links two cougar incidents in Fernie

Further information has surfaced linking a child that was attacked by a… Continue reading

CO Service euthanize emaciated black bear

The animal had left its den and taken shelter in a shed with cattle.

Local figure skater wins prestigious award

Sparwood’s Bree Chardonnens named B.C./Yukon STARSkate Athlete Of The Year

Fruitvale man identified in fatal zipline accident in Thailand

Spencer Donaldson, 25, was from Fruitvale, B.C., the city’s mayor has confirmed

Parliament Hill 4-20 organizers predict record crowd after legalization

A celebration? Yes, but organizers say concerns remain about the government’s decisions on legalization rollout

Building a better learning environment for B.C. students

Minister’s message for Education Week, April 23-27

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, multiple people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Most Read