OPINION: Foster A Culture Of Honesty Around AI In Schools

Angela Sheu and Jordan Chan
News Editor and Editor in Chief
With the rise of chatbots and new artificial intelligence (AI) technology, it’s no surprise that students have begun to use applications like ChatGPT for schoolwork. After all, AI has countless functions: bots can write essays, code websites, and even hold a conversation with people, drawing from endless databases of information. Without the use of AI detection, the content it creates is near-indistinguishable from something written by humans.
With the recent addition of AI detection to turnitin.com, many LGHS teachers have started noticing that students are using AI to cheat, notably on writing assignments and in-class essays. Los Gatos students — as well as students at large — must recognize the harmful effects of cheating using AI, which include a degradation of personal integrity, obstructions to intellectual development, and difficulties for educators that interfere with their ability to teach. Amidst a transforming technological world, it is essential that we foster a culture of honesty and protect every individual’s voice.
AP English Literature teacher Paris De Soto stated, “the implications [of AI] are pretty exhausting.” AI is especially detrimental to student learning in writing-based classes because “writing is connected to thinking.” She elaborated, “if you’re putting something into ChatGPT, you’re circumventing important work.” Principles of academic integrity protect students’ intellectual growth by ensuring they carry out the sometimes laborious, but nonetheless necessary, processes of genuine learning. By using AI to write, you inhibit your personal thinking skills and betray your intellectual development.
In a recent email to his AP Psychology students regarding instances of cheating, Kevin Rogers emphasized the way that misuse of AI extinguishes students’ authenticity, calling AI “The Thief in our classes.” He wrote, “AI is not your voice. It is not you…it is stealing your voice; it is stealing you.”
Teachers from various departments at LGHS have begun revamping policies and curricula to prevent students from cheating using AI. Nonetheless, turning in AI work as one’s own unequivocally violates LGHS academic integrity policies, which forbids “representing one’s work as wholly one’s own when it is not” as plagiarism. “Especially if you’re dealing with second semester seniors, and these are the last few classes you have with them, you want to be able to spend that time with them in a positive fun way,” De Soto explained, “not doing this kind of detective work [to catch people using AI].” De Soto has already modified her classes by having students write in-class essays on Canvas, where she can monitor computer activity.
Reliance on AI writing tools is not just an academic infraction, it’s an emotional, moral, and intellectual betrayal of what makes us human. In the words of Rogers, “Losing one’s voice, or having it silenced, stolen, or appropriated is a violation of self.  A diminishing of ‘you.’ It is the loss of self.”
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Categories: Opinion

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