Districts in Greater Cleveland and beyond booked trips with Discovery Tours, and only Monday did they learn the company filed for bankruptcy protection.
"We were already starting to try to make plans for what could we do with our daughter, what could we do to kind of replace that exciting event that she was so looking forward to," said Nick Chapman.
Chapman's 7th-grade daughter was all set to go to Chicago on a school trip until Discovery Tours canceled on her and her LaMuth Middle School classmates without saying a word.
"A company could just take all these families hard earned money and be able to sleep at night and just close shop," he said.
News 5 has been chasing down the folks at Discovery Tours since the news broke last week announcing they canceled a trip to D.C. with students from the Mentor school district 12 hours before they were set to leave. Now we know the company is in deep financial trouble.
"They had to know this ahead of time and so to continue to collect all those, all that money from the families its just really heartbreaking," said Chapman.
Chapman is only one of over 5,600 parents who lost their money with Discovery Tours according to court paperwork. The travel company also owes hundreds of thousands of dollars to hotels and schools.
While the business was drowning, family members took out sizable loans in an attempt to save it.
All in all, they owe $3.9 million and they claimed $1.4 million in assets.
The attorney for Discovery Tours has not returned our calls or emails for comment.