The Pepperbox

The Student News Site of Arcata High School

The Pepperbox

The Pepperbox

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AI: Perspectives from the schoolyard

“I’ve used it several times to help get started with an essay, also to check my reasoning in sciences often,”

Students using AI to generate homework has become a big issue at Arcata High School. To address this topic, the board met on October 1st to create a new policy to combat it.

According to board policy BP 5131.9, students are not permitted to use AI that is primarily used for the completion of coursework and generating answers for math science and analytical questions. However, AI used for research is permitted as well as editorial AI. 

The policy BP 5131.9 further clarified how it would be enforced: “If an employee suspects that a student has used technology in violation of this policy, the student shall be allowed to demonstrate that the use of technology was following this policy.”

English Teacher Ken Klima commented on how he views AI use in the classroom. “If you [are] cheating by using someone else’s work and claiming it as your own. That’s plagiarism… but if you’re using that for research[with verification from other credible sources] and then formulating your own thoughts and opinions, that’s fine, it’s just a tool,” Klima said. 

Jason Sidell also shared his opinion on the effect of AI in his coding classroom: “They’re not processing. They’re not trying to remember the lesson that I taught them. They’re just letting the AI do it for them,” Sidell said.

Students are vigilant in responding to the new AI policy. “I’ve used it several times to help get started with an essay, also to check my reasoning in sciences often,” sophomore Billy Harting said.

Harting takes issue with how AI use is caught and punished. “The truth is that AI detection systems, it’s bullshit because there’s no good way of telling if something used AI or not,” Harding said. “ I see a lot of stuff getting flagged that isn’t AI and a lot of AI work getting through the filter by just changing a few words.” 

Harting suggested a few changes to prevent AI cheating. “I would make assignments, and ask questions that are really thought-based and showing your process for stuff, that’s the one thing Ai is not very good at.”

Senior Andrew Huntsman talked about the problem he sees in his classes. “It’s the whole classes, they aren’t about learning, they’re about passing. I think the priority for most teachers needs to be educating students instead of worrying about grades,” he said.

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About the Contributor
Nathan Whitney
Nathan Whitney, News Editor
Nathan Whitney is a student at Arcata High School, an incoming senior, and a member of the class of 2024. Born in 2006 in Arcata California,  he loves adventure and exploration in and around the redwood hiking 1000s of miles. Currently, he competes with the Arcata cross-country and track team, a rookie writer for the Pepperbox he hopes to add new perspectives to the post. You can contact Nathan Whitney by email or by following his Strava account under the same name.
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