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Nazi-like insignia on bike team's clothing stirs heat at Riverside County school district

December 9, 2010 |  9:03 am

The clothes of the Metal Mulisha Riders feature Nazi-style helmets and a lightning bolt “S” like those worn by Nazi police forces known as the SS.

A Riverside County stunt dirt-bike team is threatening to sue a local school district over its ban on the team's clothing line adorned with logos resembling a Nazi insignia.

The clothes of the Metal Mulisha Riders feature Nazi-style helmets and a lightning bolt “S” like those worn by Nazi police forces known as the SS.

Many school districts forbid gang or hate-related paraphernalia and symbols in their dress-code policies, but several schools in the Inland Empire -- including the Murrieta Valley Unified School District -- have specifically banned clothes from the Temecula-based Mulisha.

The Mulisha has said its intent is not to spread racism and Nazism with its bold black-and-white graphic designs.

After receiving warning letters of a possible lawsuit from MM Compound Inc., the licensee of the Metal Mulisha brand, Murrieta Valley school officials are reconsidering the dress-code policy and seeking a compromise, district spokeswoman Karen Parris told the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

The letters sent to Superintendent Stan Scheer in September dismissed the association of the brand with racism and Nazism and demanded the district end its ban.

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-- Shan Li

Photo: Brian Deegan, founder of Metal Mulisha, practices jumps at the Metal Mulisha compound in Temecula in 2009. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

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