How helpful is Utah’s SHARP survey? Parents have just days to give input

Sep 27, 2022, 6:09 PM | Updated: Nov 7, 2022, 5:17 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah parents have one more week to give their feedback on the State Board of Education’s decision to pull its support for the Student Health and Risk Prevention survey, otherwise known as SHARP.

Earlier this year the board decided it would no longer support the program and now some state leaders and parents have come forward calling that decision a hasty move.

In just over a week, a work group will make additional recommendations to the board about the survey.

It’s already tough to be a parent of teenagers and Kristen Pexton will soon have five of them.

“You get overwhelmed as a parent like there’s so much out there,” Pexton said.

She said the data gathered in the SHARP survey is useful.

“You look at that data and you can see, oh maybe 30% of our 12th graders have tried vaping right? Which is surprising,” she added. It gives her important topics to address with her kids. “And when it comes to our kids, we want to protect them and we want to know what’s going on in our communities.”

It’s why she asked parents to step up and share their opinions before the State Board of Education makes further decisions regarding the survey.

The Utah Department of Health said in a statement:

For nearly 20 years, the SHARP survey has been an important tool that supports the identification of needs and prioritization of services to schools and communities, and provides live-saving insight into topics affecting our youth, including social and emotional health, anti-social behavior, and substance use. Recent proof of the SHARP survey’s effects include the creation of the SafeUT mobile app and the Live On campaign to reduce suicide and suicide ideation.

School board members cited concerns with sensitive questions and questions that could give teens bad ideas but the survey itself has always required parents to give their approval before their kids can participate.

Utah State Board of Education pulled its support of the SHARP survey earlier this year. (KSL TV) Kristen Pexton said the SHARP survey provides data that all parents can use. (KSL TV)

In the end, Pexton feels it gives information we all can use.

“Because none of us live on an island. We’re all a part of this,” she said.

Senator Dan Thatcher said the SHARP survey helped Utah get ahead of vaping, getting us to respond before other states.

He also added that it’s been a major resource for the SafeUT commission.

“Without Board support, districts and schools will decide on their own whether to participate in the future.”

UDoH clarified in a statement to KSL that the decision to participate in SHARP is a local choice, made by the local school districts and schools, not the State Board of Education.

“The survey will continue to be available to districts/schools at no-cost, as funding and administration of SHARP is provided by the Utah Department of Health and Human Services,” read the UDoH statement.

KSL 5 TV Live

Education & Schools

Liz Magill, President of University of Pennsylvania
(Kevin Dietsch, Getty Images)...

Matt Egan, CNN

University of Pennsylvania president resigns after hearing on antisemitism

In a stunning downfall for the leader of one of the world’s most prestigious universities, Liz Magill, the president of University of Pennsylvania, voluntarily stepped down from the helm of the Ivy League school on Saturday following a torrent of criticism for her testimony about antisemitism on Capitol Hill Tuesday.

6 hours ago

Las Vegas police stand near the scene of a shooting at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Thursda...

Elizabeth Wolfe, Taylor Romine, Jay Croft and Alaa Elassar, CNN

‘Target list,’ ammo and conspiracy theories: Authorities reveal details on gunman who killed 3 UNLV faculty members

The 67-year-old career college professor who fatally shot three faculty members this week at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, kept a “target list” of faculty at the school and elsewhere, said authorities searching for a motive.

1 day ago

Noah McArthur (left) in the hospital with his mother, Christine Sara (right) (Courtesy: Christine S...

Emma Benson

Local school district making changes after 3 students hit in crosswalks

After three teenagers were hit by a car in the last year, Wasatch School District is implementing new safety features on their city's streets.

1 day ago

(L-R) Dr. Claudine Gay, President of Harvard University, Liz Magill, President of University of Pen...

Collin Binkley, AP Education Writer

Harvard president apologizes for remarks on campus antisemitism

The president of Harvard University has apologized for her remarks at a congressional hearing on antisemitism, saying she got caught up in a heated exchange and failed to properly denounce threats of violence against Jewish students.

2 days ago

Santa delivering gifts to the kids....

Mike Anderson and Michael Houck, KSL TV

Angel Flight pilots bring gifts, donations to Title I schools

A Title I school in St George is now heading into Christmas with a bunch of new school supplies, - toys for kids in need, and cash donations.

2 days ago

A University of Nevada, Las Vegas, student talks on his cellphone after a shooting reported on camp...

Dan Rascon and Michael Houck, KSL TV

Nervous UNLV students return to campus after fatal shooting

UNLV students and teachers describe the terrifying moments of the mass shooting that killed three faculty members on Wednesday.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

How helpful is Utah’s SHARP survey? Parents have just days to give input