Senior Barred From His Own Graduation Gets a Big Save

Teacher gave his shoes to a graduate whose own shoes weren't allowed
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2021 9:15 AM CDT
Updated Jun 6, 2021 3:00 PM CDT
Teacher Had Excellent Reason for Going Shoeless at Grad
Graduating students are shown in a line.   (Getty Images/nirat)

A high school senior turned away from his own graduation says a "hero" of a teacher ensured he walked across the stage to receive his diploma—by giving up the shoes on his feet. Daverius Peters of Hahnville High School in Boutte, La., had put on black leather designer shoes, preparing for his big moment. "The whole day, I couldn't wait to 6 o'clock … to graduate across the stage," he tells CBS News. But upon arriving at the convention center, he thought the milestone would never happen. The 18-year-old tells CNN that a faculty member at the door refused to admit him, claiming his laced shoes with white soles violated the student dress code requiring dark-colored dress shoes. Peters says he was "embarrassed," "humiliated," and also "confused" as "another kid had the exact same shoes," per USA Today. That’s when he spotted mentor and teacher John Butler.

Seeing no issue with Peters' shoes, Butler took him back to the entrance, but the faculty member still wouldn't permit the teen. "At that moment I didn't have time to get upset," Butler tells CNN. He took off his size 11 caramel brown dress shoes and gave them to Peters, who was permitted into the ceremony with minutes to spare. Butler ended up watching his own daughter graduate while in socks, but "it was a no-brainer," he tells CNN. "You don't stop a kid from receiving his high school diploma ... for something as small as shoes." Butler ended up having a "good laugh" watching Peters walk across the stage. "My shoes were two sizes bigger than his" so "he had to slide his feet," he wrote on Facebook. Peters' mother says she's "so grateful" Butler was there "to save the day," per CNN. The school now plans to revisit the dress code. (These students were in for a big surprise at their graduation.)

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