Apparently the bully got 4 days suspension. His victim got 21.
Now I confess that while I have a certain habit of identifying with the victim I'm going to approach this as if I was the principal here. I also don't know what the back story is so I can't comment on that. With that in mind I'm not recommending home visits, prison invention visits a la "Scared Straight" or anger management counseling. I'm not saying there isn't a potential use for them here but I just don't know the back story enough.
So, first off I don't have a problem with suspending a kid for 21 days for that type of action. Is it harsh? Yeah but the fact remains he could very easily have killed or crippled that kid. Regardless of whether or not you feel the bully deserved it that type of response is not something you can give tacit approval of. Even though he is the victim of the initial attack he gets the full suspension and a thorough reading of the riot act. Like it or not he needs to learn that this type of action can lead to prison time as an adult.
As for the bully who started the fight I'd make him watch this video, backwards, forwards, and in slow motion. And while doing this I'd be providing a full play by play commentary that would put Foster Hewitt, John Madden and the Monday Night Football crew to shame. It would go something like this:
"Ok, So you start off well. You've got a good grip on the shirt. You're nice and threatening, and here's your right fist slamming into his head. That's a good shot! Nice!"
"Now, you're a bit predictable going for the face again. Nice footwork, you're moving well. Oh wait, he's grabbing...and you're up...and now you're down. Let's rewind. Yep, up...and down....and up...and down."
Ok, so you're next cool fighting move is...to collapse in a heap while your friend keeps you from getting killed. Hey, whatever works for you. And oh, what's this?"
*Freeze shot of the kids face looking into the camera before he collapses*
"That's you! The toughest kid in the school! Not because you're the next Mohammad Ali though, but because you have a head full of rocks."
I realize that shaming children is a very risky and often counterproductive technique but the kid that started this fight needs to learn something here. What he needs to learn is that no matter how tough and nasty you think you are there is always somebody out there who is meaner and nastier than you. Willingly courting that is stupid. I'd then give them 14 days. Four for being a bully, and 10 more for interfering with another students education. Hey, punching people in the face is assault and can be punished by prison. Just because he got hurt doesn't give him a free pass. A judge won't.
As for the others, I'd give them a citation in their permanent record to impress upon them that standing around while something is happening that could get someone killed is not acceptable....especially with a camera phone.
Anyone in education (or not) want to take a stab at this, even if its to say I'm nuts?