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Lack of SHARP data could mean loss of state prevention services

Article Date: 
14 December, 2012 (All day)

The Morgan County School Board’s decision not to participate in the SHARP survey may lead to loss of prevention services provided by Weber Human Services.
“I am in a pickle, in the hot box,” Weber Human Services Executive Director Kevin Eastman told the Morgan County Council.  “Because of the district’s decision not to participate in the SHARP survey, the State Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health informed me if I submit my area plan with any prevention services to Morgan, my area plan will be denied.  I have no choice but to submit my area plan without services to Morgan County for prevention.”
Eastman’s area plan is due to the state division by April.  A denial would be based on lack of data to substantiate a need for prevention services.
But school officials asked Eastman if data other than the SHARP survey could be used to justify prevention services.
“Morgan Empowered would be happy to provide you with alternative data from the sheriff, attorney and churches,” Superintendent Ken Adams told Eastman.
Eastman said he is unsure if such information would be sufficient and valid enough to garner division approval, but promised to check into it.
“I feel like there is some emotion in this, but it is really about data,” School Board President Joey Skinner said.  “We will push hard that they still provide services to us.”
With only 25 out of 180 seniors taking the SHARP survey during its last administration, Board Member Jody Hipwell said the SHARP survey wasn’t relevant data because the sample size was so small.
Eastman agreed, but noted that Morgan’s results were usually lumped in with results from Weber County.  Eastman and Adams both said they would have like to have seen Morgan’s data separated from Weber’s in past SHARP survey results reports.
Loss of Weber Human Services money could spell the end of the All Stars prevention program for fifth graders as well as Prevention Dimensions, prevention training for teachers, Eastman said.
Adams said the loss would be a big one.
“As educators, we want the survey,” Adams said.  “As a public, they didn’t.  It is a tragedy and travesty we would be cut funding when we still have a responsibility to educate.”