An Eagle Rock schoolteacher doesn't want any bugs squashed in her classroom, so she's appointed a student insect monitor to take wiggling, creepy critters outside.

Melodie Conrad's be-kind-to-bugs effort is getting praise from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which is giving her its Compassionate Teacher Award.

The Eagle Rock Elementary School & Magnet Center teacher says there's simply too much violence in society, adding, "I just wanted to be careful that they're exposed to just the opposite in this room."

It's not a matter of creating bug activists. Conrad says she is aiming to instill a sense of respect for life.