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 book about Vanderhoof out on shelves now

Every Little Scrap and Wonder written by Carla Funk delves into childhood memories growing up in a small town

Prescribed burns being done around Vanderhoof and Fort St. James

The smoke visible towards the north of town is from prescribed burns… Continue reading

Saik’uz and Stellat’en First Nations court battle against RioTinto Alcan to start next week

Saik’uz and Stellat’en First Nations are taking Rio Tinto Alcan to court over their functioning of the Kenney Dam that affects the Nechako River

Come join the community this year at the Halloween Pumpkin Walk

The 20th Annual Vanderhoof Chamber of Commerce event will be held on Oct. 31 at Riverside Park

Career fair a success for many

700 job hunters visited the Black Press Extreme Education and career fair in Prince George Oct. 11

VIDEO: First all-female spacewalk team makes history

NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir did work on International Space Station’s power grid

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Council asks to limit cruise ship visits to Victoria harbour

Mayor says motion is not meant to curtail current visits or limit local cruise industry expansion

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Most Read