Big Shoes To Fill: Teacher Gives Student His Shoes So He Can Graduate With His Classmates

A teacher’s quick thinking — and shoes — made it so one of his students could walk across the stage on graduation day.

John Butler is a para-educator in Louisiana and was attending Hahnville High School’s graduation ceremony as a parent on May 19 when a worried student needed help.

Deverius Peters was ready to walk across the stage when a person working the ceremony refused to let him in. Despite earning a diploma, Peters was still not allowed inside. According to the school’s graduation dress code, Peters couldn’t enter because he was wearing athletic shoes.

Butler was in the right place at the right time. Peters described the issue and the two attempted to convince the school to look past the dress code.

It didn’t work.

“[I was] hoping that maybe if she saw me with him, she would let it go, but she insisted on not letting this young man in, and I didn’t have time to go back and forth with her,” Butler told The Washington Post. “It was a no-brainer… This was the most important moment in his life up to that point, and I wasn’t going to let him miss it for anything.”

So, Butler said “screw it,” took off his dress shoes and let Peters wear them to graduation.

Butler shared the story to Facebook, saying the dress code left him in disbelief. When a staff member confirmed the dress code, Butler knew what he had to do. He took off his shoes and let the student wear them — even though they were two sizes too big.

“Last minute before they close the doors to graduation. The young brother comes walking towards me in a panic. He’s like, Mr. John they won’t let me graduate because I don’t have the proper shoes for the dress code🤷🏾‍♂️ he says the lady down there said I can’t walk to get my diploma because of the shoes I’m wearing. In total disbelief I go down to confirm. And sure enough she tells me the same thing. So then it becomes a no brainer to me, a no more questions asked scenario. I gave him the shoes on my feet. Here’s the funny part tho… my shoes were 2 sizes bigger than his, so when his name was called, he had to slide his feet like Sleestak across the stage to receive his diploma😂😂😂 we had a good laugh.”

The Facebook post went viral, due to its unbelievably wholesome nature, and received 28K reactions, 3.5K comments and 21K shares. The picture of the two at graduation makes the post even more precious.

“I wasn’t surprised because Mr. Butler is that type of person,” Peters said in the same Washington Post interview. “At school, if you’re having a bad day, he’ll be the one to take you out of class, walk around the school with you and talk to you.”

In a follow-up Facebook post, Butler shared an image of the shoes that prevented Peters from entering graduation.

Oh, and by the way, if you look closely, you’ll see the brand is Alexander McQueen. If anyone knows anything about fashion, you do NOT turn away the McQueen brand at a formal event.

Written by Lindsay Patton