EXCLUSIVE: Gone Too Soon; Maria’s Family Speaks Out

DISCLAIMER: WNYNewsNow is airing this interview tonight with Ms. Silvis at the request of Maria Schroder’s family, which includes Ms. Silvis. We are seeking the opportunity to educate the community about a public health crisis that’s hard to discuss and even harder to fathom. Although there isn’t any visual graphic content, we want to advise viewers that some statements may not be suitable for all ages.

If you or someone you know is thinking about causing self-harm, please call the 24/7 National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

JAMESTOWN-A 13-year-old girl passed away last Saturday evening in Buffalo Woman’s and Children’s Hospital as the result of injuries her aunt and legal guardian, Barb Silvis, described as self-inflicted.

Silvis told myself and News Director Ryan Hedrick Maria Schroder’s passing was caused by extensive bullying both inside and outside Jamestown High School.

Hedrick and reporter Justin Gould, as you’ll see in the video, asked for comment from District Superintendent Bret Apthorpe after a public meeting Wednesday at Jefferson Middle School on Martin Rd.

Apthorpe, in full disclosure, wasn’t aware that WNYNewsNow spoke to Silvis about Mariah.

Chautauqua County’s Mental Hygiene stressed the importance of suicide awareness and prevention in a release Wednesday.

“We want to stress that there is help in our community,” said Victoria Patti, Coordinator of the Community Alliance for Suicide Prevention. “It is better to report the concern to a medical professional or call 911, than to do nothing at all or think someone else will do it.”

“Community members need to understand and know the warning signs of suicide and be brave enough to ask the question, ‘Are you thinking of suicide?’ Those that are thinking of suicide may just want to be heard and their pain to be understood. Take all warning signs seriously and please reach out a hand; you may save a life.”

Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan and Department of Mental Hygiene Director of Community Mental Hygiene Services Patricia Brinkman also stress that suicide prevention and awareness is an important topic for community conversations and there is help in the community.

“It is so important that we talk about these concerns and don’t brush them aside and hope they go away,” said Brinkman. “We need to create a community culture in which we feel comfortable in talking about mental health openly and honestly in order to receive the support and resources necessary to work towards wellness.”

“There is still stigma surrounding the topic of mental health, and we hope to break this stigma by continuing our awareness and prevention efforts.”

“This is a serious problem we are aggressively addressing through continued trainings and other community supports available to anyone,” added Horrigan. “Help is here for anyone dealing with severe depression or life threatening behavioral health issues.”

For more information regarding such tragedies, please visit http://www.co.chautauqua.ny.us/civicalerts.aspx?AID=891. https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ is another site.


  1. What a crock of sh*t! Thu Superintendent has no empathy! The school district I suppose to be doing all the can that’s why the children at JHS are still bullying her even after she is gone. Some very horrific things were said on the property of JHS by the students there his tho morning. I hope everyone involved in bullying her gets charged. As far as the the Superintendant goes, I hope he never had to endure such a tragedy as this in his family and if he does, I hope the community is more compassionate toward him than he is toward his students and their familes…

  2. bunch of bullshit coming out of this assholes mouth… then why the fuck was it not stopped cause I can bet your money it did not stop and it was the same f kids that were doing it ..
    what a jerk this asshole is.. and he is teaching and looking over our kids. seriously?

  3. I am so sorry for the loss of Maria.i was bullied in school. I have been bullied as an adult.it is hard to deal with the things and words that people say and do to you. I have tried to be there for people that go through stuff like that and tried to let them know that they are not alone and that there are people that will listen they just need to say something. I am against bullying.i have a 15yr old that i am always asking how her day was and ahe knows she can talk to me about anything.

  4. JHS doesn’t care about bullying, most of the officials turn their cheek to bullying. Take sides and show favoritism… or just plain cowards. Even when I was a kid at JHS I was bullied and the principal and other officials didn’t care and in some cases they were even bullies themselves. It isn’t their priority, they need to make harsher punishments… as a parent I know empty threats from a school official doesn’t mean nothing to those bullies. How about we take them out of school, make the parents pay… take parenting classes of those raising this kids that have nothing better to do then bully others! RIP Mariah

  5. Wow. He should be on D.W.T.S. He danced around everything. I can’t believe we hire people like this. They (school official’s) have a responsibility to help the kids. There is no place for bullying to such an extent that someone takes their own life. What the hell are we teaching our children, bullying is ok. JHS should have had some kind of assembly to state that bullying will not be tolerated. Nothing ssid….Mr. Mac, your a great principal and one of most respected. You have power to change JHS. Please do something because your boss will not. Every child deserves the right to learn to the best of their abilities and not be afraid to go to school or be embarrassed or hurt by some punk who doesn’t care about anything.

  6. Bullying has always been real and always will be. As long as you’re good at sports…as long as you’re good looking…as long as you’re popular…as long as you fit into someone else’s mold…as long as you don’t mind being a puppet…as long as…as long as…as long as… bullying will never stop as long as “shallow” goes all the way to the top!! Parents must stop living vicariously through their children and stop raising mean kids! Bullying children become bullying adults!!

  7. Not one person is to blame for this girl taking her own life. I have seen and read all the “proof” of this bullying that has been spread around Facebook and none of which pointed directly at the fact that one person bullyed or the fact that she didnt treat the other girls the exact same way she was treated. In my eyes they are all to blame for bullying and it is a very sad situation with thid girl and it difficult to understand a child taking there n life. We as adults however should remeber to point at another individual person and make them feel the same shame abd upset that she felt at that point in her life. I don’t know if this statement makes as much sense to all of you as it does to myself. I am however deeply saddened and sorry for this family and the community for their loss.

  8. I’m sorry..I agree with all the above comment..JPS didn’t even have a moment of silence for that little lost soul..I am one p-offed woman..

  9. He seems only concerned about the outcome not what events led up to her traffic decision.. skirting the real issue and that’s he didn’t do his job which involves the health and safety of every student not just the ones he sees as worthy of protection.. if that was his child I’m sure the bulling would be the topic and the lack of teacher involvement in the basic safety of our children when we release them to the care of the school for the day.. by law we have to send our children to them to be educated so why is the safety of them the responsibility for the school?? By law they go so by law there should be consequences when they can’t protect every student..

  10. im sorry but i was marias friend she lived o n lake street across from me rest in peace baby girl i love you

  11. Signs are not always visible. And I believe that the brats that bullied her led to her death not her mental state. They made her have that mental state. I know I was bullied all my young life. This pisses me off so much and she was my aunts great niece. Please make those kids pay for what they did!!!!

  12. U know, Everytime u cried, believe me I did cry too. Cuz u never liked me, so I was always afraid to take a stand. Umm I was coward. You’ll never get to know, how lovely u were to me 😥. Everything with you was amazing. I don’t know why they were unable to see how beautiful u were. I hope u r fine there in heaven. That city haunt me. U will always be my dear in my thoughts. Love you❤️

  13. Rest in paradise my beautiful, loving, smart niece. I promised you on your deathbed we will love you always and never forget you. I will keep my promise until the day I take my last breathe on earth and we are reunited in heaven. Life never will be the same without you here. I will honor your life every day of my life.

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