13-year-old Abbotsford hockey player quits team over bullying

13-year-old Abbotsford hockey player quits team over bullying

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

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 (AMHA) 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 Ladd family have also received notes of support from other players and hockey teams from all across the province, including the Chilliwack Chiefs of the British Columbia Hockey League.

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

In an email to AMHA members, the association stated that an investigation into the allegations is ongoing.

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

Just Posted

LEFT: Krista Macinnis, with a red handprint across her face that symbolizes the silencing of First Nations people, displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
RIGHT: Abbotsford School District Kevin Godden says the district takes responsibility for the harm the assignment caused.
Abbotsford school district must make amends for harmful residential school assignment: superintendent

‘The first step is to unreservedly apologize for the harm … caused to our community’: Kevin Godden

Chilliwack School District school bus outside Sardis elementary on June 11, 2014. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
COVID-19 exposures on three school buses in Chilliwack

Exposure dates range from Nov. 13 to 19, according to letters sent out by Fraser Health

File photo
Outdoor recreation generates close to $1 billion annually in Fraser Valley: report

Camping, hiking and sportfishing generate the most spending, report finds

Chief Robert Gladstone of Shxwha:y Village at a federal flood funding announcement April 24, 2019. (Jenna Hauck/Chilliwack Progress file)
Consortium of Indigenous chiefs seeking a way to participate in cannabis economy

All Nations Chiefs from the Shxwha:y, Cheam, Soowahlie and Sq’ewlets holding online forum Dec. 2

The Santa Photos event will not continue at Highstreet Shopping Centre after Fraser Health asked organizers to suspend the event after new restrictions. (Highstreet photo)
Santa Photos at Abbotsford’s Highstreet Shopping Centre event suspended

Fraser Health Authority asked Highstreet to suspend event following new restrictions

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

Elissa McLaren broke her left elbow in the Sept. 20, 2020 collision. (Submitted)
Surviving victims of fatal crash in Fraser Valley asking for help leading up to Christmas

‘This accident has taken a larger toll financially, mentally and physically than originally intended’

Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld (left) and former BCTF president Glen Hansman (right).
BC Court of Appeal left to walk tightrope of freedom of expression in Neufeld-Hansman case

Is defamation lawsuit aimed at stifling free expression or does the defamation hinder free speech?

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Most Read