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.

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

Just Posted

Town Council approves recommended remunerations increase

A Select Committee on Council Remunerations was formed to determine an increase to remunerations

Ladysmith A&W sends employees on all-inclusive vacations for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all expenses paid vacations

Disaster Aid Canada Receives $60,000 in Donations for Australian Bushfire Relief

Rotary Clubs in the affected areas will be able to apply for rebuilding funds for local projects

Vehicle and welding machines recovered from theft at Geo-Tech Industries

Suspects still not identified from early Tuesday morning break-in at Crofton business

Ladysmith Maritime Society replacing 800-feet of dock at Ladysmith Community Marina

Work on the dock is ongoing, and expected to finish by April 2020

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, so barricades should come down

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

Federal minister pledges to meet Wet’suwet’en chiefs in B.C. over natural gas pipeline

The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say they are visiting Mohawk territory

2010 leader John Furlong urges Vancouver to bid for 2030 Winter Games

VANOC said the 2010 games broke even financially

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Canadians aboard coronavirus-ridden cruise ship to return home tonight

Among the infected are 47 Canadians who will have to remain in Japan for treatment

Galchenyuk nets shootout winner as Wild edge Canucks 4-3

Vancouver tied with Calgary for second spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

Original Victoria Clipper vessel sails one last time

Vessel sold to buyers in Gabon, Central Africa

B.C.’s soda drink tax will help kids lose weight, improve health, says doctor

Dr. Tom Warshawski says studies show sugary drinks contribute to obesity

Most Read