Florida High School Accuses Students in Elite Academic Program of Using ChatGPT to Cheat

A child in a dunce cap

Students in an elite academic program at a Florida high school have reportedly been accused of cheating by using the popular AI chatbot ChatGPT to write their essays.

The program coordinator of the International Baccalaureate Program at Cape Coral High School in Cape Coral, Florida, sent an email to parents informing them that some essays turned in appear to have been written using the ChatGPT AI tool, according to documents obtained by NBC2.

OpenAI logo seen on screen with ChatGPT website displayed on mobile seen in this illustration in Brussels, Belgium, on December 12, 2022. (Photo by Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

OpenAI logo seen on screen with ChatGPT website displayed on mobile seen in this illustration in Brussels, Belgium, on December 12, 2022. (Photo by Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

OpenAI founder Sam Altman, creator of ChatGPT

OpenAI founder Sam Altman, creator of ChatGPT (TechCrunch/Flickr)

“There have been some IB papers submitted that are questionable in a few ways… including being very different styles of writing from previously submitted papers,” the coordinator’s email to parents read.

ChatGPT is an AI-powered chatbot developed by the woke San Francisco-based artificial intelligence company OpenAI. It uses deep learning techniques to analyze and understand the context of a given conversation or question, and can generate responses that seem real and human-like. Beyond the implications of the tool for cheating in academic settings, it is quickly becoming infamous for the extreme-left bias it demonstrates when asked about political subjects.

“I’m not sure students’ learning needs are best served by using this device,” Kevin Daly, President of the Teachers Association of Lee County, Florida, told NBC2. “I’ve never heard about it in the educational setting. It seems like it has the ability to be misused.”

Students told the outlet that their peers at Cape Coral High School are very familiar with ChatGPT and other AI technology resources.

“I’ve heard a lot about it, like, all of the seniors, they’re all talking about it,” one student said.

“I’ve used a different website, not for IB though,” another revealed. “It was just, like, Spanish essays.”

“There’s, like, a whole controversy about it,” a third student acknowledged.

One student argued that using AI technology isn’t cheating, because the person is giving ChatGPT their own “ideas,” and therefore shouldn’t be penalized if they can’t “form [their] words together.”

“If you can’t form your words together, but it’s, like, your ideas, I don’t think it’s cheating,” the student said.

The School District of Lee County told NBC2 that using this type of technology to complete coursework is considered cheating, and will not be tolerated.

We do not tolerate cheating. Students who violate the Code of Conduct and Academic Integrity Policy will be disciplined. As part of our ongoing cybersecurity efforts, our Information Services team continues to strengthen Chromebook security features to block the use of AI from aiding any student work. Due to the ongoing review, it is inappropriate to comment any further.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Program also commented on the situation, telling the outlet that “the use of ChatGPT and any other method which results in a student submitting work that is not their own is against the IB’s academic integrity policy.”

“The IB expects all IB World Schools to discuss with students all types of academic misconduct and how to develop work in line with academic honesty,” the IB program added.

The school district did not disclose to NBC2 the number of students that were caught up in the ChatGPT cheating scandal, or if any of them might not graduate.

The School District of Lee County is not the only academic entity to be dealing with these problems involving AI technology and its students.

As Breitbart News reported last month, a recent survey suggests that 17 percent of students at Stanford University have already used ChatGPT on their final exams.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.