Junior from Walter Johnson High School Dies Over Weekend

School principal says Thomas “Tommy” Silva will be missed by WJ community


Walter Johnson High School

Via Montgomery County Public Schools

A 16-year-old student at Walter Johnson High School died by suicide Saturday, the school’s principal told Walter Johnson families.

Principal Jennifer Baker wrote in a message on Sunday that Thomas “Tommy” Silva, a junior, would be missed “tremendously” by the Bethesda school community.

“Tommy’s sudden death reminds us all of just how precious life is. Please know that the Silva family is very grateful for everyone’s thoughts and prayers,” Baker wrote. “It is at times like this we are reminded that we are indeed fortunate to have such a caring community.”

Silva’s death came almost a week after a Walt Whitman High School student, Jordana “JoJo” Greenberg, 16, died, also by suicide.

Baker said a support team of psychologist and counselors would be available Monday at the Walter Johnson media center to speak with staff and students.


Editor's note: Montgomery County encourages using the following numbers for free and confidential help with suicide prevention:

  • Montgomery County Hotline: 301-738-2255
  • Montgomery County Crisis Center: 240-777-4000
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's website, warning signs of suicide include:

  • talking about wanting to die
  • looking for a way to kill oneself
  • talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
  • talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • talking about being a burden to others
  • increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • acting anxious, agitated or recklessly
  • sleeping too little or too much
  • withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • displaying extreme mood swings

If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide:

  • Do not leave the person alone
  • Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt
  • Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255
  • Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional

If you are in crisis, you can also send a message to the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

The website for the county's BTheOne public awareness campaign lists additional suicide prevention resources.

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