They didn't invite her to the formal. So her Mum did this.

Josie Webster can do anything asked of her

She plays the drums with delightful rhythm.

She rode the Shotover River in New Zealand as a nine-year-old.

At the age of ten, she journeyed to Uluru in Central Australia.

She travelled to Hong Kong with her family and navigated them around the public transport system.

She’s been jungle surfing in the Daintree in Queensland.

She crawled through the underground war tunnels of Vietnam.

Josie is 16 years old and can do ANYTHING anyone asks of her.

But she wasn’t invited to her Year Ten dance.

The dance was planned in secret for months.

You see Josie Webster has Down syndrome.

And  it seems that this dance was for everyone in Year Ten at Engadine High EXCEPT those kids with special needs.

Her mother, Julie Webster said enough is enough and made this video in response to her daughter’s lack of invite. The video is now going viral.

From the US to Ireland, it’s making online news sites and blogs.

The formal was last Thursday at Doltone House in southern Sydney, just 20 minutes from Josie’s school.

Every Year Ten pupil, except four special needs students including Josie, were invited. Teachers attended, parents too.

The students planned for months what dresses to wear, what suits to hire, they organized cars and after parties, and dates.

They posted the whole night on Facebook.

They made sure that Josie didn’t know about it. They organized the whole things in secret.

It wasn’t until her mum found at about from Facebook that Josie knew she has been misled and left out.

Another special needs student bought a dress in anticipation of a pre-Christmas party, only to find out on Facebook the formal had already taken place.

“She was devastated,” Julie Webster told


The irony being that the event raised funds to help these students’ special needs unit where Josie is among a number of students with “mild” or “moderate” learning difficulties.

The very ones shunned by the teenagers, parents, and teachers who attended.

School principal, Joanne Jarvis  sent an email to Mrs Webster saying the school had no involvement in the party.

A NSW Department of Education spokesman said the formal was a “private party” which the school had “nothing to do with”.

He said if teachers were there, they had attended in a “private capacity”.

Last night the Principal posted this statement on the school’s website.

“This event was NOT organised by the school but was a private function organised by a group of parents. The school understands that notes were distributed to students in Year 10 including students in the Support Unit on a number of occasions during roll call. The school has been assured by other Year 10 parents of the Support Unit that they received the notes and invitation. The event also had its own Facebook page publicly available. As such this occasion was a matter for individual students and their families to decide if they wished to attend. “

Julie Webster said the evening was promoted as a fundraiser for the school, other mothers had told her directive for the event had come from the school and it was a “slap in the face” for the students in the special needs unit.

The school say that the event was not organised by them

She said it was “very disappointing” for Josie, and she had made a video about Josie’s life to show her daughter’s enthusiasm, positive attitude and how a disability had not held her back.

On the video, which she made herself last Friday with photographs and footage of her daughter, Mrs Webster tells the story of Josie and the school dance.

“Josie has done many great things in her life, but she and the other children of the support unit were not worthy enough to receive an invitation,” Mrs Webster wrote.

“On the day of Nelson Mandela’s passing, one of the greatest activists of all time against prejudice and hatred, bigotry is alive and well … society needs to wake up!

Julie Webster on the Today Show this morning

“This is a mother’s acknowledgment of my daughter’s achievements.

“She may not get to dress up and dance.

“But her life is more of a dance than most.

“I will continue to dance with her, even if no-one else does.

“I am blessed xxxx.”

We support you Josie. Please share this post to show Josie and her Mum the power of how people can care.

We will dance with you too Josie.

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