CuriOdyssey has terminated the employment of Carl Oosterman, Director of Education, effective immediately. Mr. Oosterman was employed at CuriOdyssey for 17 years.
Last week we learned about a deeply disturbing incident that involved Mr. Oosterman at an offsite location outside of work hours. This incident was brought to our attention by a private watchdog group that is not part of our organization or law enforcement.
It is our understanding that a person affiliated with this private group posed as a minor on a social media platform and communicated with Mr. Oosterman on his personal cell phone about a meeting. A person affiliated with this group then confronted and videotaped Mr. Oosterman at the local department store where the meeting with a minor was to take place. At this time, we are not privy to the text messages Mr. Oosterman allegedly exchanged with the person affiliated with the watchdog group.
Upon first learning of this incident, we immediately placed Mr. Oosterman on administrative leave while we conducted an internal investigation and notified the appropriate authorities. We continue to be in contact with local law enforcement and intend to fully cooperate with their investigation.
While the incident at the department store does not appear to involve an actual minor, we nonetheless found Mr. Oosterman’s conduct to be condemnable and completely contrary to CuriOdyssey’s mission and values and all that we stand for as an organization. Consequently, we have terminated Mr. Oosterman’s employment.
Further, based on our internal investigation, we are not presently aware of any reports of misconduct or child safety concerns raised about Mr. Oosterman during his 17-year tenure at CuriOdyssey, nor are we aware of any concerns about any other employees.
Visitor safety is a fundamental tenet at CuriOdyssey. Safety protocols for hiring staff include LiveScan fingerprinting, which Mr. Oosterman underwent. We will continue with our review and reexamination of our policies, procedures, protocols, and training so that we can further improve and strengthen our organization.
We deeply regret the stress and anxiety this has caused our community and look forward to the opportunity to earn your continued support as we move forward. To that end, with deference to the current police investigation, we will continue to share what we can, when we can, as we learn more.