Bartow student gives classmate with autism pair of shoes after noticing his broken boots

Mobile

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Joseph Brown, a tenth-grade student at Bartow High School, has many reasons for looking forward to his Criminal Justice class. Just one of the reasons is Joseph, who also goes by the name Jojo, has aspirations to become a police officer.

Another reason is his classmate, Carlos Perez.

Last week Brown didn’t know Perez. But Perez noticed Brown, specifically his shoes.  

“I seen that his shoes were broke,” said Perez.

Brown, who is on the autism spectrum, said his boots were falling apart and one of his soles was worn through.

“I was sick of my old boots. They would make a noise when I walked around,” said Brown.

That’s when Perez stepped in. 

“He asked to speak to Jojo in the hallway. They had a private conversation and came back in and (Carlos) got some shoes out his backpack and handed them to Jojo,” their Criminal Justice teacher Melinda Dorman said. “Part of what I try to teach my students is, the act of giving back, the public service side of the criminal justice profession is about that.”

Perez says the sole purpose of his generosity was because he once found himself in Brown’s shoes.

“I got made fun of in elementary and middle school for having broke shoes, I didn’t want him getting bullied, so I gave him mine,” said Perez.

The shoes gifted to Brown by his classmate were a size 11.5. Brown wears a size 9.5, but tells 8 On Your Side that, despite the large size, the shoes are perfect.

“He gave me a pair of his shoes. I wasn’t expecting him to do that. What Carlos did for me, it was one of the most special things anyone has ever done for me,” Brown said. “It really was the friendship, I really love making new friends. It always makes me happy, if I make a new friend.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Videos

USF's food pantry helps fight food insecurities amid pandemic

Thumbnail for the video titled "USF's food pantry helps fight food insecurities amid pandemic"

1 dead, 2 injured in Lakeland crash

Thumbnail for the video titled "1 dead, 2 injured in Lakeland crash"

Monday Morning Forecast

Thumbnail for the video titled "Monday Morning Forecast"

Two cruise ships with Floridians board stuck at sea with deceased and sick passengers

Thumbnail for the video titled "Two cruise ships with Floridians board stuck at sea with deceased and sick passengers"

Gov. DeSantis addresses cruise ships looking to dock in Florida

Thumbnail for the video titled "Gov. DeSantis addresses cruise ships looking to dock in Florida"

Trump says he will speak with DeSantis about cruise ships

Thumbnail for the video titled "Trump says he will speak with DeSantis about cruise ships"

What money is out there for struggling small businesses?

Thumbnail for the video titled "What money is out there for struggling small businesses?"

Coronavirus test results delayed up to 14 days in Florida

Thumbnail for the video titled "Coronavirus test results delayed up to 14 days in Florida"

Better Call Behnken helps Port Richey woman get assurance her power won't be disconnected

Thumbnail for the video titled "Better Call Behnken helps Port Richey woman get assurance her power won't be disconnected"

strike teams answer coronavirus calls

Thumbnail for the video titled "strike teams answer coronavirus calls"

a Clearwater businessman is switching his focus from producing water heaters to producing face masks

Thumbnail for the video titled "a Clearwater businessman is switching his focus from producing water heaters to producing face masks"
More Local News

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss