This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
It’s easy to label the kids who land at Camelot KAPS, a K-7 school in Philadelphia’s Germantown section.
The school educates students with extreme behavioral and emotional needs, many of whom acted out habitually before arriving. By the time many kids make it to Camelot KAPS, misbehavior has become part of their identity.
“I see them becoming more aware of it younger and younger,” said program manager Carolyn Abele. “I’m bad. I’m stupid. I don’t know how to do anything right. Nobody likes me.”
The students know, at a young age, that they’re different.
But one of their teachers, Luke O’Brien, wants them to wear that difference with pride. To do that, he helped them create a catchy rap song and music video called “Way Above Average.”