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A Louisiana high school teacher offered his own shoes to a student who had been barred from his graduation ceremony because the sneakers he was wearing violated the school's dress code.
With his purple cap and gown, Daverius Peters was ready to walk across the stage and enter the next chapter of his life on May 19, until a school representative stopped him in his tracks.
'She said my shoes violated the dress code and I couldn’t attend the ceremony unless I changed them,' said Peters, an 18-year-old senior at Hahnville High School in Boutte, Louisiana according to the Washington Post.
Peters had been wearing black leather Alexander McQueen sneakers with white soles, which retail for $580, but the school's graduation dress code stipulates that male students are to wear dark dress shoes, stressing that 'no athletic shoes' are allowed.
'I was in shock,' Peters said. 'I felt humiliated. I just wanted to walk across the stage and get my diploma.'
Peters launched a panicked search for a solution before finding one in teacher John Butler, who stripped off his own loafers for the teen to wear during the ceremony.
Butler shared his side of the story on Facebook and was met with widespread praise for his act of kindness.
However, some social media users took issue with Peters, saying that he should have followed the dress code in the first place.
With his purple cap and gown, Peters (pictured) was ready to walk across the stage and enter the next chapter of his life on May 19, until a school representative stopped him in his tracks and told him he couldn't participate in the graduation ceremony because his $580 Alexander McQueen sneakers violated the school's dress code
'I thought I could wear them because they’re black,' Peters said of his original footwear, noting that he had followed the rest of the dress code.
Lucky for him, he spotted Butler, 38, while pacing outside the convention center.
Butler is a paraeducator at the school known for mentoring many of his students.
'Last minute before they close the doors to graduation. The young brother comes walking towards me in a panic,' Butler recalled in a Facebook post that has garnered 27,000 reactions and over 3,000 comments.
He said he tried talking to the 'lady,' but she told him the same thing.
'So then it becomes a no brainer to me, a no more questions asked scenario,' Butler said. 'I gave him the shoes on my feet.'
'The young brother comes walking towards me in a panic,' Butler recalled in a Facebook post that has garnered 27,000 reactions and over 3,000 comments
There was only one problem - Butler's tan loafers were two sizes too big.
'So I just slipped them on like slippers,' Peters told CBS News.
His family was puzzled as they whispered to each other about Peters' new footwear while he crossed the stage.
'Wait a minute, whose shoes does he have on?' Jima Smith, Peters' mother, recalled whispering. 'We were all confused.'
Peters' brother even pointed out the strange man with no shoes sitting nearby, though the family wasn't immediately able to make sense of it all.
The senior returned the shoes and thanked the teacher after the ceremony.
Smith said she felt 'upset' after learning what happened.
'He worked so hard, and for someone to just rip that away from him, that was maddening to me,' she said.
Butler and Smith will both review the incident and the rules surrounding the dress code with school administrators.
A representative for Hahnville High School in Boutte, Louisiana said the school will 'absolutely' follow up on the incident
School spokesperson Stevie Crovetto said that 'any time an opportunity is presented to us to review and to make improvements, we absolutely will follow up on that.'
He went on to applaud the teacher's instinct.
'We are not the least bit surprised that Mr. Butler did this kind gesture for this senior,' he said.
'If it wasn’t for Mr. Butler’s kind and thoughtful act, my child would have been sitting outside, and I wouldn’t have known,” Smith said.
'I pray he will continue to work in the public school system because we need more teachers like him. Our young black men need good role models and mentors like Mr. Butler.'