The San Mateo children’s museum, CuriOdyssey, has fired its 17-year director of education, Carl Oosterman, after video emerged of him trying meet with a minor in San Jose, the museum announced.
On July 6, 53-year-old Oosterman was confronted by the watchdog group, CU Unit, while trying to meet a 14-year-old boy at a San Jose store on July 6. The CC Unit, which is not affiliated with a law enforcement agency, said it posed as a minor on social media and communicated over cellphone about the meeting, then confronted Oosterman at the meeting spot, videotaping the encounter. In the video, Oosterman admits to intending to meet the minor.
The CU Unit alerted CuriOdyssey, where Oosterman has been employed for 17 years. The museum said it immediately placed Oosterman on administrative leave while it conducted an internal investigation and notified San Jose police, which has confirmed the investigation. The museum later announced Oosterman has been terminated.
“At this time, we are not privy to the text messages Mr. Oosterman allegedly exchanged with the person affiliated with the watchdog group,” the museum said, adding that it found Oosterman’s conduct “condemnable and completely contrary to CuriOdyssey’s mission and values and all that we stand for as an organization.”
The museum said its internal investigation has not turned up additional reports of misconduct by Oosterman involving children during his 17-year tenure at the museum. Oosterman, like all staff members, underwent LiveScan fingerprinting as part of the museum’s safety protocols.
“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,” the museum said.