President Obama said Monday his administration directed schools to provide transgender bathrooms for students because school districts were imploring Washington for guidance to protect “vulnerable” children.
“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,” Mr. Obama said in an interview with Buzzfeed. “They are vulnerable. Schools were asking us, were asking the Department of Education, how should we handle this?”
The federal Education Department issued guidance Friday that public schools should allow transgender students to use bathrooms consistent with their “gender identity,” rather than the gender on their birth certificate. Schools that don’t follow the guidance could risk losing federal funding.
While some on the left applauded the move, other state officials, school administrators and parents reacted with outrage. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said his state would fight the directive, saying Mr. Obama is “not a king.”