AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — Some parents living in the Cherry Creek School District could be out thousands of dollars after district leaders decided to cancel a class trip to Washington, D.C. due to concerns over the coronavirus.
Eighth graders at Horizon Community Middle School had been looking forward to the trip for a while, according to parents.
“I’ve got an eighth grader who is just sad and depressed,” said Vanessa Mullen, a parent.
Mullen and her husband paid about $2,500 to send their son on the trip. They were excited for him, until they received a note from the Cherry Creek School District.
"Cherry Creek School District has made the difficult decision to cancel all school- and district-sponsored out-of-state travel for students due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. This includes all international and domestic trips,” the letter from the Cherry Creek School District said.
The note goes on to say students can still participate in the trip, but the district will not provide any staff.
"Individual travel companies may still offer you the opportunity to go on your scheduled trip, even though the district has cancelled school- and district-sponsored travel. Please be aware CCSD will not provide support staff to attend these trips. Any travel plans you make with your designated travel company will be at your discretion,” the district said.
Mullen and several other parents weren’t thrilled.
"It’s crazy! No one seems to know what’s going on and no one is communicating well,” Mullen said.
Since she and her husband purchased travel insurance for the trip, they decided to cancel it and get a full refund.
"But from what I understand, parents who did not purchase the insurance are now being told they may or may not get a refund,” Mullen said.
She’s right. The tour company parents booked through is called Close Up Washington DC.
On its website, it said: "According to guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, U.S. domestic travel is considered safe. Therefore, Close Up is not providing any refunds for cancellations and conducting programs as scheduled”.
Close Up Washington DC will offer refunds to people who purchased travel insurance for their kid’s trip.
The Cherry Creek School District said, "Though we are advocating for our families, please know, the decision about whether to offer refunds or rescheduling opportunities ultimately sits with the travel companies."
As it stands, parents will have to deal with the tour company on their own.
As of Tuesday evening, the Cherry Creek School District did not respond with how many eighth grade students were affected by the cancellation.