(JTA) – A California school district that banned a clothing line which made liberal use of Nazi symbols in its designs is reconsidering the ban after being threatened with a lawsuit.
The Murrieta Valley Unified School District said it is seeking a peaceful resolution with the company, Metal Mulisha, over concerns that litigation would harm the district, which already is facing a $14.5 million deficit, The Los Angeles Times reported. The district banned the apparel from its high schools four years ago, according to The Los Angeles Times.
In September, the district received a letter threatening a lawsuit from attorneys representing the clothing company’s licensee. The ban is a violation of the company’s constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression, the attorney’s letter said, according to the Los Angeles Jewish Journal. It called on the district to revoke the ban.
Clothing created and distributed by Metal Mulisha, based in Irvine, Calif., includes designs such as a human skull wearing a helmet resembling those worn by German soldiers during World War II. On the company’s logo, the S in Mulisha is represented by a lightning bolt that resembles the double lightning bolts insignia of the German SS, the Jewish Journal reported.
According to the school district’s dress code, the district bans clothing that "students would find intimidating and offensive," and bans only two specific clothing brands, Metal Mulisha and SRH Clothing, which features skulls on its clothing, the Times reported.