Graduation Day is an important milestone every high school senior looks forward to with eager expectancy.
But due to one school’s show policy, a high school senior almost missed walking at his own graduation, as he was wearing a type of shoe that the policy did not allow.
Daverius Peters, a senior at Hahnville High School in Boutte, Louisiana, arrived at the convention center on May 19 where his graduation was being held but was blocked by a school representative.
“She just stopped me saying I couldn’t wear my shoes,” Peters said. “Another kid had the exact same shoes, so I was confused.” The school’s graduation dress code policy said that all male students must wear dark dress shoes and tennis shoes are not allowed.
Peters was wearing Alexander McQueen black leather sneakers with white rubber soles. He was wearing his white dress shirt, tie and black pants which were part of the school policy. “I was embarrassed. I was humiliated. And I was just shocked when it started because my shoes were black and dark-colored, so like why am I getting stopped,” Peters said.
And that’s when a teacher stepped in and saved the day for Peters. John Butler taught at the same school and his daughter too was graduating that day. “There were only about five minutes left until the doors to graduation closed, and I was waiting outside for my wife to join us when Daverius comes to me in a panic and tells me they are not letting him walk the stage to receive his diploma and graduate,” Butler said.
Butler tried discussing the matter with the school official, but she was adamant that Peters wouldn’t be allowed to walk the stage. What Butler did next shocked Peters, he gave him his size 11 shoes so that he could walk the stage. “At first, he asked me what size I was,” Peters said. “I said a 9, and he gave me his shoes. I slipped on his shoes like slippers because of how big it was.”
Last minute before they close the doors to graduation. The young brother comes walking towards me in a panic. He’s like,…
Peters’ mom, dad, grandma, and siblings had taken their seats in a hurry and hadn’t picked a copy of the itinerary, so when Peters’ name had been called, they were still discussing if that was actually him. “I’m like ‘That is Daverius’ and they were like ‘No, that is not Daverius. That kid has on brown shoes,’” Jima Smith recalls.”
When she asked her son later what had happened, he told her Butler lent him the shoes so he would not have problems getting his diploma. The mom learned the whole story only after it went viral on social media.
“When I turned to Mr. Butler, I called and contacted him and had a conversation with him asking him exactly what happened. … I was literally in tears because I did not know all of this took place and that my son had to experience it,” Smith said.
Smith says she understands schools have their dress policy for graduation day, but they should do a better job of addressing it. “The cap and gown are already costing us $138.50, and you don’t know people’s situation,” Smith said.
“So you know I had a big problem about that as well. Like how about a kid who can’t afford to wear these things that you’re requiring, and I think the school needs to put something in place, really look deep into exactly what’s going on.” Butler said he will have a talk with school administrators about the dress code policy and other guidelines for the future.