A Kentucky Senator Came For Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, And Dolly’s Sister Stella Defended Her

March 4, 2022 / Posted by:

Dolly Parton is a singer, actress, scientist, and actual saint. Her children’s literacy foundation, Imagination Library, has provided over 100 million free books to children under 5 since it began in 1990. On Wednesday, at a legislative committee meeting in Frankfort, Kentucky Senator Stephen Meredith made his case for Senate Bill 164, which proposes a state partnership with Dolly’s program. At first, it sounded like a great idea. Kentucky will provide funding for Imagination Library. More books for kids! But, TWIST. Stephen snuck in this little tidbit: is the subject matter in Dolly’s books appropriate? Translation: the Republican senator wants to censor what kids read. This did not go over well with Dolly’s younger sister, Stella Parton, who jumped onto Twitter to defend Imagination Library, question the Senator’s IQ score, and refer to Republicans as “GOP nimrods.” Damn, are all 11 of Dolly’s siblings badasses like her? Dolly’s parents did good.

Here’s exactly what Stephen said, via The Courier-Journal:

“Only concern, this may be a strong statement, don’t mean it as such, but on page one, section two, we talk about age-appropriate books and I think that certainly is warranted given today’s environment but I wonder if that’s enough. you know, should it be uh subject appropriate as well?”

Here’s the video of the meeting:

Here’s Stella’s response on Twitter:

Stephen told The Courier-Journal that he was disappointed by Stella’s Twitter response, and simply wants to ensure there are guardrails “to protect our youngest and most vulnerable”:

“I’m disappointed, but you know, that’s social media today,” he said. “We always want to take a position of ready, fire, aim without really looking at the total situation.”

Stella Parton’s criticism of Meredith comes at a time when schools across the country are facing new restrictions on what teachers can teach, including what books they have in their classrooms. Legislation is up for consideration in Kentucky now, for example, that would add controversial rules about how educators can teach history.

Meredith suggested his request to add language concerning appropriate content isn’t unreasonable, considering the bill already includes language about sending children  “age-appropriate” books. “I mean, if you feel compelled to have to put in ‘age-appropriate book,’ doesn’t it stand to reason that you should also consider ‘content-appropriate’?”

Oooo, Stevie-boy. I wouldn’t mess with a woman from Appalachia. They’ll hunt you down, skin you alive with their perfectly manicured nails, and then host a lil’ bluegrass sing-a-long (featuring Big Foot on the banjo) as your corpse melts in the roaring fire.


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