I think it actually depends on rules set by the athletic commission of each state. Though it's just a matter of time before NY approves.
But imaging little kids training in MMA
What? Kids training in MMA would be a wonderful thing.
MMA promoting violence is a common misconception. MMA promotes RESPECT and most fighters realize that; most fighters talk trash only for publicity.
Just like how rap lessened gang violence, so will MMA.
You see, right now, when school kids have conflicts, they have fist fights over concrete. They just flail at each other and as bad as those strikes and fighting stances are, they do inflict a lot of damage on each other. They're using bare knuckles!
Now if they knew MMA, they'd settle it in an MMA gym with proper equipment including a mouth guard which is perhaps the MOST important equipment for safety. They'd fight under controlled conditions.
MMA releases stress and when you learn any martial art, the first thing they teach you is discipline and self control. They teach you that you're learning it for self-defense, not to bully others.
Little kids training in MMA is far from violent. In Thailand, little kids spar each other in Muay Thai in just shorts and no safety gear.