A student was turned away from his graduation ceremony for wearing the wrong shoes. His teacher gave him the pair off his own feet

"It was just a no-brainer to me to just take my shoes off and give them to him"

Nikki Battiste – CBS News

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.

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.