Self-Directed Education communities can be magical places where young people and adults come together to build relationships and find meaning through shared experiences and endeavors. But there are challenges that most SDE communities face, and if they are not addressed they can undermine the well-being of the community. One challenge is that Self-Directed Education communities are too often place based (e.g., in a building, within property lines), walling their members off from broader society. Another is that SDE communities often acknowledge the necessity of youth liberation, but do not take seriously liberation projects for other historically marginalized and oppressed populations.

We are proud to be a part of the Flying Squads network because it actively takes on both of the aforementioned challenges. As a practice, Flying Squads do not confine themselves to physical, private structures. We deliberately take up public space as an act of defiance against an adultist society that expects young people to be confined to schoolish settings. And the Flying Squads network recognizes that not embracing the liberation efforts of other people, particularly those who are most marginalized and oppressed, would merely reinforce the dominant sentiment that education is a tool to be used to help certain students position themselves to rise to the top of a hierarchical society, instead of helping to create an inclusive and just society.

By addressing these two concerns in tandem, Flying Squads promotes bringing young people into the world, and extending the concept of community outward, to include everyone, including those that society wants to wall out or wall in.