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A high school teacher stepped in to save the day after one of his students faced being banned from his own graduation for showing up in the wrong shoes.
John Butler, a teacher at Hahnville High School in Boutte, Louisiana, swapped shoes with senior Daverious Peters, who was told minutes before the ceremony that his own shoes violated the school’s dress code.
Peters had arrived wearing a pair of black leather sneakers, which according to one faculty member did not match the requirements of ‘dark-colored dress shoes.’
Devastated that he was about to miss the opportunity to walk across the stage with his classmates, Peters came across Butler, who had been his mentor throughout high school and was there to watch his own daughter graduate, and told him what had happened.
‘I was in shock,’ Peters told The Washington Post. ‘I felt humiliated. I just wanted to walk across the stage and get my diploma.’
Butler tried to reason with the faculty member, and after having no success, he took the ‘no-brainer’ decision to give him the shoes off his own feet – even though they were two sizes too big – leaving him to walk to his seat barefooted.
‘You don’t stop a kid from receiving his high school diploma, already the most important moment of their life to that point,’ Butler told CNN. ‘You don’t take that away for something as small as shoes, and that’s exactly what was going to happen.’
Peters said that while he was embarrassed to have to shuffle across the stage in the too-big shoes, it was worth it to be able to graduate in front of his proud family.
‘It felt good walking across the stage and hearing everybody saying my name,’ he said.
Peters’ mom Jima Smith told CNN that her son had initially avoided telling her about the incident, and said she was heartbroken that a staff member had almost ruined his big day.
‘I have been in complete disbelief of everything that went on, and I had no idea my child went through all these things fighting to get his diploma,’ she said. ‘I’m just so grateful it was Mr. John Butler who was there to save the day for my child.’
Thanks to Butler, Peters made it to the ceremony, and his school has since confirmed they plan to change their dress code to avoid other students missing out on graduating.
Featured Image Credit: John Butler/Facebook
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