Don’t let evil win.

Last week, two members of the Livingston Parish community were arrested for heinous crimes involving juveniles.

Both Denny and Cynthia Perkins were, before the arrest, relatively stable members of the community. Denny worked for the Livingston Parish Sheriff, Cynthia was a teacher – they were both involved in their church. While neither was perfect, they were described as ‘caring’ and ‘passionate about their work.’

So the arrests, and subsequent information that has continued to pour out of the situation, has rocked the community. There are a vast array of emotions to process as each day brings new bits and pieces of a truly despicable puzzle.

There are those who are furious at the perpetrators; those who are angry at the systems in which these crimes occurred; adults and children alike who are confused, scared, and distrustful of those around them.

These are all legitimate, natural responses to such a devastating situation – but we must avoid destruction.

In the wake of these reports, social commentary and broadcast are all focused on prior information – how did this happen? Why weren’t these two discovered before all the events occurred? Who is to blame?

To use the word again, these are all legitimate questions, and the answers are – it happened because evil hides in plain sight; they weren’t discovered because they tried very hard to hide it, and many previous actions had been hidden in behind sealed documents and mounds of paperwork; and they are to blame… the two people who committed these actions are to blame.

Evil must exist in plain sight because, otherwise, we’d detect it immediately and cast it out. Time and pressure are the only two things that can cause evil to come to light.

Of course, certain people must be held accountable and will put new policies and procedures in place. Things will change, as they often do in the wake of an event like this. Healing can only take place once people feel as if some change has been made to prevent the situation from occurring in the future.

Just ask flood victims.

But don’t be so quick to tear down the systems within which these two existed. Remember, they were but two among several thousand who go to work every day to serve the people and children of this parish. If there are truly poor safeguards and policies in place, then let them be fixed.

Nearly 27,000 students, 3,500 faculty and staff, as well as 600 deputies must continue to work and serve, and they must continue with the community’s support.

Don’t let evil win.

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