Instructor Provides Scholar the Sneakers Off His Toes When Gown Code Threatens Commencement

On May 20, an educator named John Butler posted a story on Facebook about the steps he had taken to ensure a student could run and receive the diploma they had earned. According to the story, the young man told Butler that he was told he could not graduate because the shoes he was wearing did not meet the dress code. Butler took action by resolving the problem after confirming the accuracy of his statements.

“In utter disbelief, I go down to affirm. And I’m sure she’s telling me the same thing. Then it becomes child’s play for me, a scenario in which no more questions are asked. I gave him the shoes on my feet. Here’s the fun part that … my shoes were 2 sizes bigger than his. When his name was mentioned, he had to slide his feet across the stage like Sleestak to get his diploma. We had a good laugh, ”Butler told Facebook.

The quick-thinking teacher later posted a picture of the shoe style the student was wearing along with a message.

What would have happened to the graduate student on graduation day if Butler wasn’t there to help?

Facebook Photo Credit – John Butler

Sharif El-Mekki, the founder and CEO of the Center for Black Educator Development, wrote an article for Education Post about teaching black students.

“Educators must also do the work and professional development that will improve their skills as liberators rather than overseers of the existing system. Without a strong sense of intent, an educator can easily become the perpetrator of the injustices he originally wanted to remove, ”said El-Mekki.

Although the student in need of help could be from any population group, EdSurge’s report on Why Americans Need More Black Male Teachers becomes relevant when a student is unsupported in a school setting.

“Although colored students make up more than half of the students, black men make up only two percent of the teaching staff. So this statistic is very important because this lack of diversity has a negative impact on all students, ”explains EdSurge.

And maybe the teacher who saved the day for an African American student answered another call to serve. If he had done that, not all heroes would have worn capes, but one who helped a young graduate could have worn a United States Marine Corps uniform one day.

Facebook Photo Credit – John Butler

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