A mother says bullying has left her fearing for her schoolboy son's life.
The Plymouth mother spoke out after news reports that one of her son's alleged tormentors was questioned by police for "just" throwing sweets.
She said "prolonged and sustained" bullying had led to her son telling her he was is "too tired to carry on".
The father of one of the boys accused of bullying said his son was "no angel", but he was not a bully.
The boys all attend Torpoint Community College in Cornwall.
The mother said her son had been subjected to both verbal and physical bullying on the way to and from school and in school for almost three years.
She herself had witnessed some bullying on her son's way home from school, she said.
She claimed during one incident her son's hair was set on fire.
"I've constantly got to be on hand for a text if something's wrong... or he's crying to me on the phone begging me, 'Mum, please, please can I come home?'," she said.
In a statement, the school said it had a very strong anti-bullying policy and all allegations were taken "extremely seriously".
"In this case staff from the college have been working very closely with the families of all the students involved and with the police to resolve the situation," the statement added.
However, the mother said she felt let down by the school and the police.
"The school's supporting me now, but it's a bit late as far as I'm concerned," she said.
Devon and Cornwall Police said: "Bullying that goes on between young people is mainly a matter for the schools.
"If a matter becomes sufficiently serious then we would expect schools or indeed a parent to raise the matter with their local police officer."
The mother said she had chosen to keep her son at home "until either the bullies are removed from the school or it stops completely".
"I've been asked if my son wants to go to a different school, but why should he?," she said.
The charity Kidscape said schools and parents both have a role to play in tackling bullying.
It said research had shown bullying could seriously affect a child's education, relationships and even job prospects later in life.