Benton Harbor Schools’ Administrator celebrates terror attack in Israel

Tiana Batitiste-Waddell, Chief Academic Officer of Benton Harbor Area Schools leads anti-police rally in South Bend in 2020 — Photo: South Bend Tribune

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — REAL News Michiana has discovered the Chief Academic Officer of Benton Harbor Area Schools joined in on the extremist celebrations regarding the recent terrorist attacks in Israel. The administrator, Tiana Batiste-Waddell, “loved” an anti semitic post made by Black Lives Matter South Bend on Facebook. The post included a flyer in support of the Hamas/Palestinian terror attacks that led to the deaths of 1,300 Jews — mainly civilians. Batiste-Waddell was a former leader of the BLM South Bend movement and principal at a South Bend middle school before an RNM investigation uncovered her affiliation with the Latin Kings street gang, forcing her out of the South Bend Community School Corporation.

The flyer, which was promoting a rally in South Bend on Wednesday, falsely calls Israeli Jews “colonialist forces” while also falsely claiming Palestine is under attack. Israel is currently defending itself from the terrorists while Hamas uses its own civilians as human shields. Hamas has also taken several hostages, mostly women, whom are being continually raped by the terrorists.

RNM attended the rally in South Bend where a pro-Hamas activist openly said he was happy Jews were killed.


From left to right: Tiana Batiste-Waddell, Chief Academic Officer of Benton Harbor Area Schools — Eli Cantu, Latin Kings — Jorden Giger, BLM South Bend — Photos: Facebook

Before moving to Benton Harbor Area Schools, Batiste-Waddell was the principal of Jackson Middle School in South Bend.

In 2021, RNM published an investigative story showing Batiste-Waddell had knowingly hired a high ranking member of the Latin Kings street gang, Eli Cantu, to work as an In-School Suspension Teacher. She also hired the founder of BLM South Bend, Jorden Giger, who had strong ties to the gang as well.


According to school records, Cantu was employed as the In-School-Suspension Paraprofessional at Jackson Middle School as recently as 2019. Cantu is an open member of the Latin Kings.

“I’m a very proud member of the Latin King and Queen Nation.” Cantu told RNM’s Clifton French at the time.

The Latin Kings are a highly structured gang headquartered out of Chicago where the top leaders are located. However, each city with a chapter has it’s own leadership that members typically answer to. But, there is one special rank known as a “Nation Man” that answers directly to top leadership in Chicago. Cantu is a Nation Man.

“Their objective is to get into a community and infiltrate some sort of law enforcement, community group, corrections, whatever it may be. It’s what that person’s sole goal is to do.” Jason Wilke, a retired police officer and Latin King expert said while speaking about the Latin Kings in general.

Wilke expressed concerns about any Latin King member being put into a position to influence children. Especially troubled youth as would typically be seen in an in-school suspension setting.

“Any group is going to go after your troubled youth. They’re very susceptible. It doesn’t matter what race they are. Part of the ideology of Kingism is to overcome racial prejudice.” Wilke said. “Any type of criminal enterprise that you can think of, they’re going to be involved in. Fraud is a big one especially for the younger kids who have a solid knowledge of the internet. Gambling, prostitution, human trafficking; any type of criminal enterprise that’s going to turn a dollar, they’re going to be involved in it.”

It turns out, Cantu had also built support from South Bend Black Lives Matter leadership. Below is a picture of Cantu with South Bend BLM leader Jorden Giger and activist/convicted domestic batterer, Wayne Hubbard (read more about Hubbard’s criminal history and activism here). RNM has learned Giger was also employed at Jackson Middle School.

From left to right: Jorden Giger, Wayne Hubbard, Eli Cantu — Photo: Facebook


Batiste-Waddell hired Giger as a Special Education Paraprofessional at Jackson Middle School in 2020. As one of the main leaders of the South Bend BLM organization, he has organized marches and protests against the police. He’s also had multiple recent criminal charges for attempting to disarm a police officer and drunk driving. You can read details about those arrests here.

Giger has also been vocal in his support of the Latin Kings. He posted “Latin Kings Lives Matter” on his Facebook page as seen below.

Batiste-Waddell was also a leader in the South Bend BLM movement. And, has had an obvious close relationship with Giger. The two were even featured together in the New York Times when the national media focused on South Bend during Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s presidential run. Below she is pictured with Giger and convicted domestic batterer, Wayne Hubbard, during an anti-police march in South Bend.

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