PORT CLINTON, OH (WTOL) - After a travel agency suddenly filed for bankruptcy, parents and students from a local school district are now out $50,000.
For years now, the 8th graders at Port Clinton Schools go on a summer field trip to Washington D.C. For the last five years, the district has planned and paid for trip through Discovery Tours out of Cleveland.
But, last week the district found out the travel agency had filed for bankruptcy a week ago when the hotel they were supposed to stay at informed them the travel agent had cancelled their reservation in February.
"Made call, no answer, No returned emails. And we realized that at that point, they had made off with 50 thousand dollars from our parents and our students," said Pat Adkins, Port Clinton City Schools superintendent.
Come to find out, Port Clinton is not alone.
After contacting the Attorney Generals office, Adkins learned 26 other school districts in Ohio are dealing with losing money that was paid to Discovery Tours.
The district has filed a class action lawsuit in hopes to win back the money paid by families.
The agency was even taking payments from parents as late as April.
"So, they cancelled our trip in February, and up to a month ago were still allowing us to students as long as they paid in full, knowing full well that there would be no trip." said Adkins
The district was able to reschedule their trip through another agent at a discounted price.
Port Clinton schools said they will pay for half of the $36,000.
A go fund me campaign has been started to help raise the remaining $17,000 before the June deadline.
"We have kids that are sitting there and watching the Go Fund Me account. Which, it's been a rough lesson for them, but it's been a very valuable lesson to them that sometimes bad things happen and how do you react to them," Adkins said.
If families paid Discovery Tours with a credit card, they should contact their card company's fraud department.