I just wanted to let you know that I totally think you did the right thing in emailing the principal and speaking to the bus driver. My kids take a bus to school too as they are in French Immersion and the school is too far to walk. My ds had problems with a boy teasing him & I let the principal know right away, I told my ds everything I was doing to help stop it. I also gave him plenty of tools to help himself but his problem is that he wants to hang out with the older boys and inevitably it ends with them bugging him & upsetting him... anyway, the solution here was to have my ds sit up front and the older boy sit at the back (which is what I told him to do as well but the older boy would sit near him anyway) & coming from the principal and with her instruction to the driver to make sure the boys folllow through, it seems to have stopped.
5 year old being teased on the school bus - Page 2
They are probably not bullying him. But, they are saying something that is hurtful to him. My daughter wore a really cute sparkly shirt to first grade. One girl said "Ooooh... sexy shirt" and did a little hula hoop move. This was said in the hallway in front of other kids. She never wore that shirt again. She was devastated and talked about that for years.
In fifth grade, (where bullying was not only not allowed, it just didn't ever happen) A boy sent my daughter a note saying he wanted to walk home with her today. The boy next to her saw it, and looked behind her to the note boy and made some gesture...she didn't know what gesture, but later the boys were all seen huddled together, and she thought they were talking about her. She wanted to drop out of school. I actually had to go pick her up from school that day, and we lived two blocks from school. *eye roll*
My point is, something said by a few kids that might be thoughtless and downright mean, is not bullying. It might have been an older kid saying "Tuck your ears in dude" or an older girl saying "Aww.. look how cute his ears are all folded down", and the others laughed. Kids are not capable of thinking about how their comments might make him feel. Some kids are more sensitive, and WOULD think first before speaking, but those kids are probably rare.
If you want him to ride the bus, maybe find him an older buddy to ride with. He can't do this for himself, he needs a backup team. Friends, or a bigger kid who wants to look out for him.
If you want him to grow a thicker skin, he can't... he's too young. He's at the very bottom of the food chain right now, and he doesn't stand a chance. DEMANDING the bullying stop won't work either, because you don't really know what happened.
Not wanting him to become self conscious about his ears is too late. He already is. This won't be his lifelong obsession or anything, but, for right now, he's self conscious about it. He might forget all about it in a few years when a new problem comes up. It's a part of reality. Even an innocent comment can cause someone to feel bad or embarrassed.
I think it's a bit extreme to say "take him off the bus" after an incident of teasing.
In addition to talking to the bus driver, TALK TO THE SCHOOL. They also need to know about this and if they've got kids who are bullying, those kids can be kicked off the bus. That, to me, is a more reasonable solution than you pulling your child (who has done nothing wrong) off the bus. It sounds right now it's not extreme. Obviously if it gets extreme, you'd need to find him another way to get to school so he can be safe.
Call the principal. If your kids know the names of the other kids who are doing this, it would be good. If not, what grades they're in would be a start. They know who's on the bus with your son and probably know the likely perpetrators.