Weather Alert

Teacher lends student shoes off his own feet for graduation

▶ Watch Video: Teacher lends shoes off his own feet so student can attend graduation

John Butler, a teacher at Hahnville High School in Boutte, Louisiana, had a pretty good reason for standing in his socks during the school’s graduation ceremony. He had given a student, Daverius Peters, the shoes off of his own feet. 

“Daverius came up to me in a panic and he said, ‘Mr. John, they’re not going to let me graduate.’ And I said, ‘Why?’ And he said, ‘Because of the shoes that I’m wearing,'” Butler said. 

Daverius Peters wearing the black sneakers he tried to wear to his graduation ceremony. 

Courtesy of Jima Smith

A school representative barred Peters from the ceremony, saying his black sneakers with white soles didn’t meet the dress code. The 18-year-old said he was pacing outside when he saw Butler’s familiar face and told him what happened. 

“It was just a no-brainer to me to just take my shoes off and give them to him,” Butler said.

John Butler, left, in his socks and Daverius Peters, wearing Butler’s shoes. 

Courtesy of John Butler

They were big shoes to fill — two sizes too big. 

“So I just slipped them on like slippers” Peters said. He told CBS News that, in that moment, “I felt the joy. The whole day, I couldn’t wait to 6 o’clock, couldn’t wait to get ready to graduate across the stage.”

Peters described Butler as a “motivator” and said “he’s a hero.”

“Be kind to one another, be thoughtful, be empathetic, try to understand where other people are coming from. I just try my best to be the best human that I possibly can best for my kids. And I try to lead by example every day,” Butler said. 

Connect With Us Listen To Us On