I am concerned that school systems that decide to resist Gov. Youngkin's proposed changes in policy and remain involved in assisting with students' gender transitions may open themselves up to the potential for lawsuits that could cripple their educational budgets. Already, we see such lawsuits being pressed in certain states and even abroad, against both medical institutions and schools that have facilitated the transitioning of students. At some point, a judge is going to rule in favor of parents and against school systems that step outside of their purview as educators and usurp parents' legal rights regarding life-altering medical decisions for their children. One wonders how substantial the financial settlements might be in cases where schools have secretly led children in the direction of hormone therapies or surgeries that brought permanent disfigurement and psychological distress? There may also be cases where parents sue a school system following a child's suicide. Judgments or settlements that reach into the tens of millions of dollars (or even higher) could devastate a school system's ability to do what it is supposed to do -- educate children in a respectful and cooperative relationship with parents. It seems likely, as well, that school board members, teachers, and school administrative staff who step outside their normal responsibilities and support secretly transitioning children will be among those targeted by plaintiffs, resulting, if nothing else, in huge legal fees for everyone involved. It is instructive here to note, as most would agree, that it is not within the prescribed fiduciary responsibilities of educators to work with students to change, for example, their racial identity, their religious identity, or their national identity, among others. Working secretly to do so would presumably result in serious professional consequences. Why then, one might ask, is it viewed as so compelling a matter, when a child expresses a desire to alter their sex (in this instance, often a physical and irreversible alteration), that parents should potentially be denied any role in their child's decision and, instead, that school officials should have the final and absolute say in what medical therapies a child is guided toward? One simply need ask: How would most parents react if they learned, after the fact, that their boy had secretly become a "girl" through hormones or the mutilation of his genitals, all under the personal guidance of his school's personnel or, similarly, if their girl had been turned into a "boy? Again, I believe many parents, presented with such a fait accompli, would view this as the worst imaginable violation of their rights and might well feel inclined to sue everyone involved for every penny they're worth. Indeed, the most common perception is that those school officials who have supported the Northam policy on gender transitioning are misappropriating their "power" or "authority" over children and imposing upon them, almost as guinea pigs, their own ideological convictions regarding gender issues -- even when a huge majority of Virginians (and Americans as a whole) would reject the right of public schools to take upon themselves such a prerogative. Whether now or ten years from now, the legal and financial consequences of this sort of usurping of parental rights could well cost recalcitrant school systems dearly. Certain Virginia schools could potentially be hit with hundreds of millions of dollars in legal costs, all siphoned out of their educational budgets, as a tragic consequence of their diversion away from their mandated responsibilities and their violation of the public trust. Accordingly, an important indirect benefit of the Youngkin policy is that it minimizes these dangers and protects precious educational funds across the commonwealth so that they might be used to best serve our children.