Irons in the Fire

Critical audits zero in on Vashon's storied basketball program

But Irons drew criticism as Vashon's principal from 2003 to 2004. Detractors pointed to dismal test scores, an upswing in school violence and a belief that the coach places more emphasis on athletics than academics.

Former superintendent William Roberti and ex-deputy superintendent Floyd Crues in July 2004 stripped Irons of the job and named him the district's director of athletics. Irons' most ardent backers, including Demetrious Johnson, said Irons was unfairly ousted.

Irons' supporters reached out to United States Congressman William "Lacy" Clay earlier this year to halt what they termed a "conspiracy" against Irons.

Coach Floyd Irons says he's done nothing illegal.
Jennifer Silverberg
Coach Floyd Irons says he's done nothing illegal.

In a February 18 letter to school-board president Darnetta Clinkscale, Clay wrote: "I can assure you that the political leadership of this community, at all levels, will not stand by quietly while a man who has devoted his entire adult life to helping young people is treated in this intolerable manner."

Clay urged Clinkscale to name Irons principal of Vashon.

Instead, Superintendent Williams named Calvin Starks Vashon's new principal last summer.

Brown Smith Wallace's external audit also recommended that the district update its financial guidelines. "The fiscal policy and procedure guidelines are dated in 1979 and 1980. Certain changes in operations, technology and environment have changed during the past 25 years. We recommend that these fiscal policies and procedures be reviewed and updated wherever necessary."

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