In a twist she most certainly wasn’t expecting, Melodie Conrad, an elementary teacher at Eagle Rock Elementary School & Magnet Center in California is set to receive the "Compassionate Teacher Award" from PETA for her unique classroom strategy that encourages students to be kind to bugs of all shapes and sizes that wander in from the great outdoors. The idea itself was the creation of a student insect-monitor that works pretty much the same as monitors for the hallways, chalkboards and classroom windows. If a bug finds its way into the classroom, the student bug-monitor swings into action, swooping down with a paper towel or napkin before scooping it up and depositing it back outside.
Of course Melodie was quick to note that she's not out to create bug activists, but certainly wants to instill a sense of respect for life with her concept, and hopefully, a non-violent temperament as well.
As PETA's Sangeeta Kumar points out, "children who respect and protect the smallest and most maligned among us, (become) better citizens who have compassion for others."