BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - An Oak Mountain High School senior is working towards the highest award in Girl Scouts.
In order to earn the award, Taylor Player is working on a major project to create a curriculum for schools to teach about the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing.
And now, Senator Doug Jones is helping make that possible.
With questions in hand, Player met Senator Jones for the first time to talk about that tragic Sunday, September 15, 1963.
“I really wanted to do something. Knowledge is really key to me. I wanted to do something that would make it possible for the younger girls, the older girls, all generations, for them to understand the importance of this and our history,” said Player.
Player is a Girl Scout Ambassador and earning the organization’s most prestigious award - the Gold Star Award. To earn that distinction, she’s chosen to create a curriculum for Birmingham schools to teach the story of the four young girls killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing.
“It’s important for youth everywhere to learn because, we have made such great strides in racial relations over the years,” said Senator Jones. “But we’re also slip sliding backwards as well. I think we have to learn from the mistakes that we made in the past. And the only way you can do that is to read about them, hear about them, learn about them.”
For help, Player reached out to Senator Jones, who successfully prosecuted two of the four men responsible for the attack.
“It meant so much to the families, it meant so much to this community, and I think it meant a lot for the state of Alabama,” said Senator Jones. “So many years after the fact, juries composed of men and women, young and old, black and white were able to parse through the hate and the prejudice and see the facts for what they are.”
His insight is encouraging Player to work hard to make accomplish her goal.
“There are so many things in the African-American culture that aren’t in the curriculum, that aren’t taught. And it’s amazing because it’s such a staple. It’s history,” she said. “And to know that I did that, and that other girls too who look up to me in my own troop, can do that. Hopefully to inspire them that they can do it on this scale like me.”
Player said she’ll find out if she earn the award next month.
She’ll graduated high school this year, and will attend The University of Alabama to study to become a lawyer.