VBS material taught at some local churches sparks racial controversy
Vacation Bible School (VBS) is a summer tradition that many take part of around the country. But this year, one curriculum being used has raised reg flags with some on social media, who claim certain lessons are racist.
Below you can see a page out of the Group VBS materials that tells children to act as if they are Israelite slaves and make bricks, being told what to do by an angry Egyptian guard.
Material also talks about communicating with "clicking noises" and even went to suggest group make their own form of the language.
Since the controversy sparked, and an outcry for removal of content began on social media, Group VBS decided to make changes. They issued a statement saying they apologized for any misunderstood and unintentional insensitivity in the curriculum.
Churches that use the Group VBS curriculum but have since revised their lessons to not include slavery or insensitive clicking language depictions include St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Ooltewah Baptist Church, and Christ United Methodist Church.
But some don't agree with churches changing the material. Ooltewah resident Stanley Owen says,
"I don't see anything wrong with doing it today."
He tells us he feels history should not be altered and that he finds no fault in the VBS lessons.
Another Ooltelwah resident, Ernest Simpson, says he's glad the changes were made.
"I mean yeah, the Israelites were in slavery, but what does that have to do with vacation bible school?"
The new curriculum does not say the word slaves, but instead is a building demonstration using a heavy book.