It’s official: Guinness World Record broken

It took nine attempts for the students to make it work. (Keith Bedford/Globe Staff)

A group of 59 Somerville High School students has officially broken the Guinness World Record for most arm-linked people to stand up simultaneously.

Kevin Dua, a history teacher and the class of 2017 adviser, received word from the Guinness World Records Management Team on Friday that the June 2 attempt was successful.

The effort was the yearlong brainchild of four sophomore class officers — Flavia Martins, Ella Sprick, Anika Kawsar, and Spencer Pitkin — and they were the first to know of their success after Dua.


“I just told them during lunch,” he said. “I built up some suspense, said I hadn’t heard the news, and revealed that they officially broke the record, and they were ecstatic.”

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The students immediately put the news on Snapchat and other social media, junior class vice president Sprick said, and told whoever they saw.

Somerville High will receive an official certificate in the next few weeks, Dua said. He thinks it will be unveiled at an assembly in September and then displayed by the main entrance, along with photos and clippings from news articles.

The event involved 59 students sitting in a round-edged square on the floor of the cafeteria, arms linked and backs facing the center. After nearly 10 tries, they successfully stood up together. The prior record was 49 people, set by the Glory Global Solutions Management Team in Japan.

To compile the application, the class officers had to get forms from the stewards who watched for correct form and the witnesses who counted people. Then they went through the film, which came from four vantage points in the cafeteria.


The package was submitted to the Guinness headquarters in England.

Some of the guidelines include that the circle must stand up together at the start signal; only feet may contact the ground; and “all arms must remain inter-linked until everyone has stood upright on their feet,” Kristen Ott, Guinness public relations manager, said in an e-mail.

“I know a lot of kids, they regret not breaking the world record,” Sprick said. She is hopeful that the students could rally to break a different record next year and maybe even start a new school tradition.

Erica Moser can be reached at