Stopping at the grocery store on the way home from a long day at work is an everyday occurrence for many of us. For those who do physically demanding, outdoor work, that might mean rocking up to the supermarket looking a bit worn and shabby, and that’s understandable isn’t it?

One mom didn’t think so. Andy Ross of Vancouver, Washington, noticed a little girl staring at him at the store. The former special operations medic, who now works in the construction industry, was on his way home from a day at the site and had a bit of dirt on his face. He thought nothing of the little girl looking curiously at him, until her mother pointed in his direction and he overheard her say: “That is why you need to stay in school.”

Judgmental much? Needless to say, Andy wasn’t too impressed with the mom’s attitude, teaching her little girl to write somebody off based on nothing but outside appearances. He took the opportunity to introduce himself, and teach her a lesson she would do well to heed. “I spoke up because I didn’t feel it was right for a child to believe that because you’re dirty means you’re uneducated,” Andy told Bored Panda. “I know a lot of very dirty men and women and they are highly intelligent and educated.”

“It was just a spur of the moment kind of thing. The reaction is much more than I ever would have expected, I’ve heard many amazing stories of people who have been in similar scenarios. Very humbling to see how many people appreciate it and have shared it!”

Scroll down below to see how it unfolded for yourself, and let us know what you think in the comments. Was Andy right to say what he said? Would you have done the same? Join the conversation!

This man with a dirty face is Andy Ross from Vancouver, Washington

A mom he met in a store assumed he was uneducated based on his appearance, so he decided to teach her a lesson

This is what he looks like with his face ‘clean’

People offered support for Andy’s response, and some related to him with their similar stories