Obama, in an
interview with BuzzFeed news website broadcast live on Facebook
and YouTube, said schools had been asking the Department of
Education how they should handle questions they were facing with
"We think it was important for schools who want to go ahead and,
in a very practical way, try to deal with the school year - What
are they going to be doing next year? How should we approach
this? - that we give them our best judgment about how to
approach it," Obama said.
The Obama administration told U.S. public schools on Friday that
transgender students must be allowed to use the bathroom of
their choice, upsetting Republicans and raising the likelihood
of fights over federal funding and legal authority.
The Education and Justice Departments told school districts
nationwide that while the guidance carries no legal weight, they
must not discriminate against students, including based on their
Obama, who has two teenaged daughters, elaborated on the
"We're talking about kids. And anybody who's been in school,
been in high school, who's been a parent, I think, should
realize that kids who are sometimes in the minority, kids who
have a different sexual orientation or are transgender are
subject to a lot of bullying, potentially," Obama said.
"They are vulnerable. And I think that it's part of our
obligation as a society to make sure that everybody is treated
fairly and our kids are all loved and that they're protected and
that their dignity is affirmed," he said.
(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)
[© 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2016 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.