President Barack Obama said on Monday that his administration's guidance on transgender issues was needed to help schools grapple with the sensitive issue and ensure that all children were treated fairly.
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 transgender youths.
"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.
Children who are in a minority are vulnerable, Obama said. "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; Writing by David Alexander)