The ACLU of Minnesota made headlines in January when it sued Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TiZA), a public K-8 charter school in Inver Grove Heights. The suit -- which followed media reports of organized prayers and a pervasive religious environment at TiZA -- alleged that the school is violating constitutional prohibitions against government endorsement of religion.

"It's a theocratic school," state ACLU director Chuck Samuelson told City Pages. "It is as plain as the substantial nose on my face."

In the six months since the suit was filed, TiZA has fought tooth and nail -- erecting procedural barriers to prevent the ACLU from investigating what goes on there.

The school's efforts to avoid public scrutiny are part of a well-established pattern.

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